Shattering Parsifal

Dmitri Tcherniakov’s 2015 production of Wagner’s Parsifal recorded at the Staatsoper in Berlin in 2015 left me emotionally drained as I don’t think I’ve ever been after watching a recording.  I can only imagine what it must have been like to experience this live.  The combination of the production, exceptional singing and acting and Daniel Barenboim’s conducting is quite exceptional.  It’s not going to be easy to unpack it all coherently but here goes…

1-ritual

Continue reading

Transcendent Tristan

There may be better video recordings of Tristan und Isolde than Daniel Barenboim and Heiner Müller’s 1995 Bayreuth collaboration but I haven’t seen one.  It combines a deeply satisfying production, outstanding conducting and brilliant performances from the principals; Siegfried Jerusalem and Waltraud Meier.  The only downside, and it’s not serious, is that, as a 1995 recording, it’s a bit short of the latest and greatest in audio and video quality.

1.potion Continue reading

Kupfer/Barenboim Ring – 2. Die Walküre

The Kupfer/Barenboim Ring continues very strongly with the second instalment, Die Walküre.  It opens in quite a straightforward, more or less realistic way.  Hunding’s hall is slightly abstracted with a recognizable tree.  It’s quite spare though which creates space for the strong interpersonal dynamics between Siegmund and Sieglinde.  Poul Elming is a very physical, almost manic Siegmund and Nadine Secunde’s Sieglinde is almost as physical.  It’s all very intense and beautifully sung.  Matthias Hölle as Hunding is no slouch either.

1.hundingshall Continue reading