, July 2012
Neuenfels’s imaginatively uses members of the chorus as black and white rats.
The flexible camerawork focuses on all these pivotal moments of Neuenfels’s Konzept … and much more. Samuel Youn is an imposing Herald and though eschewing all sense of majesty in a portrayal of King Henry as fitful and neurotic, Georg Zeppenfeld is equally excellent. Jukka Rasilainen impresses as the weak-willed Telramund, who has no hope of being good enough to bring Ortrud the power she craves. Petra Lang is surely the best of the all the current Ortruds. It is wonderful to have her assumption on DVD for the first time here. Melodramatic possibly, cajoling, manipulative and Machiavellian certainly, her incredible vocal range is never heard to more thrilling effect than in her demands for revenge in Act II—‘Entweihte Götter! Helft jetzt meiner Rache!’
Annette Dasch was very good as the troubled and ‘wounded’ Elsa with her pliant soprano voice only occasionally sounding possibly a little too small for Wagner. Klaus Florian Vogt is a wonderfully laidback Lohengrin. Mostly he sings with his typical incredible ease, impeccable phrasing, eloquence, delicate pianissimos, and flute-like tones. However the camera does not lie and it reveals that even he finds his Act III ‘Grail Narration’ rather more challenging than it appears from the back of the stalls. Andris Nelsons got the measure ofLohengrin in the second year and here is evidence of a supple performance, rich in detail, and with each act’s long dramatic span being impeccably sustained, allowing for climaxes as thrilling as could be hoped for.
Post-Wolfgang Wagner Bayreuth has its critics but this Lohengrin…shows it at its very best. I strongly commend this DVD to those who want to know what is current at Bayreuth…or to those who have seen it in the Festspielhaus or on TV and want to relive it. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review