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What's your favorite Tannhäuser?

  • Barenboim: Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin & Staatskapelle Berlin

    Votes: 2 5.0%
  • Cluytens: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1955 live recording)

    Votes: 1 2.5%
  • Elmendorff: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1930 live recording)

    Votes: 1 2.5%
  • Gerdes: Orchester und Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin

    Votes: 1 2.5%
  • Keilberth: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1954 live recording)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Konwitschny: Berlin State Opera Chorus & Orchestra

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Leinsdorf: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus (1941 live recording)

    Votes: 4 10.0%
  • Sawallisch: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1961 live recording)

    Votes: 3 7.5%
  • Sawallisch: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1962 live recording)

    Votes: 8 20.0%
  • Sinopoli: Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus of Royal Opera House Covent Garden

    Votes: 3 7.5%
  • Solti: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna State Opera Chorus

    Votes: 15 37.5%
  • Szell: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus (1942 live recording)

    Votes: 1 2.5%
  • Szell: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus (1954 live recording)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 2.5%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This opera has a very interesting recording history on disc, and comes in three different versions: the 'Paris' version, the 'Dresden' version, and all kinds of mixes between the two. What recording is your favorite and why? Be sure to choose 'other' if I didn't list yours!

For me, since the recent release of the 1941 Leinsdorf recording at the Met with Melchior and Flagstad by Pristine, this blows the competition out of the water. It is with Melchior and pretty much only with Melchior that we can hear what the role should be.

 

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Another opera where I've been increasingly impressed with the Sinopoli. It's really tragic that he died so young.

Very fine singing from Domingo and Studer and I like Schmidt's lighter baritone for Wolfram. Baltsa is fine, not as good as Ludwig on the Solti but I prefer Domingo/Studer over Kollo/Dernesch.
 

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As much as I would love to have a great recording of the Paris verison in excellent stereo sound, I'm less than thrilled with both the Solti and Sinopoli efforts, and the more I live with them the more my dissatisfaction grows. Solti's conducting is far too square for my liking, and his Tannhauser of Rene Kollo sounds downright strained in the role. On the other hand I find that Placido Domingo on Sinopoli's release sings with an unacceptably odd accent, but worse than that with apparently only a sketchy idea of what the words mean. He certainly doesn't use the words to express the character's feelings.

I'll have to check out that Leinsdorf broadcast with Melchoir, because good recordings of Tannhauser are frustratingly hard to come by, and one of the great tragedies in the Wagnerian discography is the lack of post-war recordings of the Paris version, and the way directors and conductors play with and second guess Wagner's intentions in this opera as they don't do with any of his other works. For the meantime, the one recording of the Dresden version that at least contains the ballet music Wagner wrote for the Venusberg that in my mind stands out from all the rest is the 1962 performance from Bayreuth conducted by Sawallisch who is fantastic here. Windgassen is a little loose with his singing, but is appropriately desperate, and Silja is a raw but intense Elisabeth. Grace Bumbry is quite good as Venus. This gets my vote.
 

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As much as I would love to have a great recording of the Paris verison in excellent stereo sound, I'm less than thrilled with both the Solti and Sinopoli efforts, and the more I live with them the more my dissatisfaction grows. Solti's conducting is far too square for my liking, and his Tannhauser of Rene Kollo sounds downright strained in the role. On the other hand I find that Placido Domingo on Sinopoli's release sings with an unacceptably odd accent, but worse than that with apparently only a sketchy idea of what the words mean. He certainly doesn't use the words to express the character's feelings.

I'll have to check out that Leinsdorf broadcast with Melchoir, because good recordings of Tannhauser are frustratingly hard to come by, and one of the great tragedies in the Wagnerian discography is the lack of post-war recordings of the Paris version, and the way directors and conductors play with and second guess Wagner's intentions in this opera as they don't do with any of his other works. For the meantime, the one recording of the Dresden version that at least contains the ballet music Wagner wrote for the Venusberg that in my mind stands out from all the rest is the 1962 performance from Bayreuth conducted by Sawallisch who is fantastic here. Windgassen is a little loose with his singing, but is appropriately desperate, and Silja is a raw but intense Elisabeth. Grace Bumbry is quite good as Venus. This gets my vote.
Whole heartedly agree with this position; the Leinsdorf from Pristine will be on my next order so I don't have that to compare with, but the 1962 Sawallisch was excellent for me...
 

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I was hoping to get some more opinions on recordings of this opera as I'm looking to buy one soon myself....
Get the Sinopoli, if you don't mind going against the grain of the anti-Domingo faction. Or get the Sawallisch with Victoria DLA, Windgassen and Bumbry if you insist on a proper deutscher held, but you don't mind filthy continentals and colonials for the ladies. Or get the Sawallisch with Silja and Windgassen and Bumbry if you want the same thing but worse because Silja can't hit the center of a note to save her life. Or the Solti if you care more about the Venus casting than any other roles. Or the Szell with Melchior, Traubel, Thorborg, Janssen, Kipnis if you want the most ideal prewar cast and don't mind that Szell conducts the score with all the passion of someone looking at their wristwatch. Or the Leinsdorf with Melchior and Flagstad, except you miss out on a chance to listen to Kipnis and Flagstad isn't really an Elisabeth. Or the Konwitchny if you want a Tannhauser who bellows everything at the same volume. Or the Haitink if you want a pretty decent recording, and you're Dutch.
 

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Get the Sinopoli, if you don't mind going against the grain of the anti-Domingo faction. Or get the Sawallisch with Victoria DLA, Windgassen and Bumbry if you insist on a proper deutscher held, but you don't mind filthy continentals and colonials for the ladies. Or get the Sawallisch with Silja and Windgassen and Bumbry if you want the same thing but worse because Silja can't hit the center of a note to save her life. Or the Solti if you care more about the Venus casting than any other roles. Or the Szell with Melchior, Traubel, Thorborg, Janssen, Kipnis if you want the most ideal prewar cast and don't mind that Szell conducts the score with all the passion of someone looking at their wristwatch. Or the Leinsdorf with Melchior and Flagstad, except you miss out on a chance to listen to Kipnis and Flagstad isn't really an Elisabeth. Or the Konwitchny if you want a Tannhauser who bellows everything at the same volume. Or the Haitink if you want a pretty decent recording, and you're Dutch.
Cruel but fair!:)bbbbbbbbbbbb
 

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Get the Sinopoli, if you don't mind going against the grain of the anti-Domingo faction. Or get the Sawallisch with Victoria DLA, Windgassen and Bumbry if you insist on a proper deutscher held, but you don't mind filthy continentals and colonials for the ladies. Or get the Sawallisch with Silja and Windgassen and Bumbry if you want the same thing but worse because Silja can't hit the center of a note to save her life. Or the Solti if you care more about the Venus casting than any other roles. Or the Szell with Melchior, Traubel, Thorborg, Janssen, Kipnis if you want the most ideal prewar cast and don't mind that Szell conducts the score with all the passion of someone looking at their wristwatch. Or the Leinsdorf with Melchior and Flagstad, except you miss out on a chance to listen to Kipnis and Flagstad isn't really an Elisabeth. Or the Konwitchny if you want a Tannhauser who bellows everything at the same volume. Or the Haitink if you want a pretty decent recording, and you're Dutch.
I am and a proud one, nothing wrong with my country.
 

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Bumping this thread because we need a lot more votes before we can see if there is a clearly preferred recording on TC.
 

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I voted Sinopoli the first time around, but it might be the Barenboim for me now. Eaglen makes a hash of "Dich, teure Halle" but is good otherwise, Hampson is a little light for Wolfram but is still among my favorites in the role, and Seiffert's turn in the title role has grown on me quite a lot. He's convincingly youthful and impetuous, although perhaps less angsty than one might ideally want--but at least he sings the role instead of singspiels it.

And the recording and orchestral playing is incredibly rich and lush and beautiful. Barenboim seems to see the opera as fundamentally not a stage drama but more a long bit of ear candy, and honestly, that's probably the best way to experience this opera. I do wish he'd opted for the Paris version, though.
 

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I only have three versions of this opera: Haitink, Heger (1951), and Sawallisch (1972):


Haidink is Dresden. Not sure what Heger or the 1972 Sawallisch are because they don't come up in Wikipedias Tannhauser discography, which lists the version.
 
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