02 Apr 2002
Chor der deutschen Staatsoper Berlin
Daniel Barenboim, conductor
Eaglen, Meier, Seiffert, Pape, Hampson
This vividly recorded new Tannhäuser has much to recommend it. Daniel Barenboim’s leadership not only keeps things moving so that the somewhat stilted drama actually takes wing, he elicits some of the most beautiful playing ever from the Berlin State Opera forces: lush strings; pointed, crisp brass; reedy, articulate winds. Thomas Hampson’s Wolfram is sensitive and handsomely sung, if on a slightly small scale; Rene Pape is by far the most impressive Landgraf on disc; and the supporting cast is topnotch. Peter Seiffert sings the title role as well as anyone alive today could, but the natural youth and brightness of his voice do not particularly suit the character and his torment. Jane Eaglen’s Elisabeth is correctly pure and simple, and equally well sung.
Number of Discs: 3
Release Date: April 2, 2002