Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

 
Keyword Search
 
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews



 
See latest reviews of other albums...


Jerónimo Marín
Ritmo, September 2019

The vocal demand of the work is more than surpassed by the vocal trio, here less-known, but with good projection, and, most importantly, the intensity is always present in the powerful lyricism of the Korngoldian melodies. It is not surprising that this revelatory presentation of a great work concluded with twenty minutes of applause. © 2019 Ritmo



Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, August 2019

Das Wunder der Heliane is based on Hans Kaltneker’s mystery play Die Heilige concerning an unnamed Ruler, a Stranger, the heroine Heliane and the redemptive power of love. It is Korngold’s most extravagant stage work and one that he considered to be his greatest score. Written for a huge ensemble, masterfully used, the music possesses voluptuous sweep and hyper-Romanticism. Its intensity is emphasised through an intoxicating array of effects, propulsive rhythms and glorious vocal lyricism, its arc of climaxes building from one act to another. This revelatory new Berlin staging in 2018 enjoyed an unprecedented 20-minute ovation at its premiere. © 2019 Classical CD Choice Read complete review




Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, August 2019

KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (NTSC) 2.110584-85
KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0083V

A truly ground-breaking achievement, a magnificent set which deserves every success. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Robert Cummings
MusicWeb International, August 2019

American tenor Brian Jagde as the Stranger and Austrian bass-baritone Josef Wagner as the Ruler both have fine voices and are excellent in their dramatic skills. … Derek Welton as the Gatekeeper is quite fine too, and the rest of the cast, as earlier suggested, are more than adequate. The chorus sings splendidly too.

Marc Albrecht conducts the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin with an insightful grasp of Korngold’s rich post-Romantic idiom. His phrasing is consistently sensitive to the emotional flow of the music and his tempo choices are judicious, never going to an extreme. Coincidentally, this new recording has a very similar overall timing for the opera to the earlier Naxos issue. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Opera Now, August 2019

KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (NTSC) 2.110584-85
KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0083V

[Loy’s] production is admittedly riveting, focusing closely on three main characters, and placing them in a simple panelled hall. Sara Jakubiak’s Heliane is stunning, her soprano and acting encompassing the role’s considerable demands of range, scale and emotion. © 2019 Opera Now




Daily Telegraph (UK), July 2019

KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (NTSC) 2.110584-85
KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0083V

The performance is conducted with all the necessary full-blooded fervour by Marc Albrecht, and Korngold’s score emerges in all its richly chromatic, glittering tonality and overheated intensity. © 2019 Daily Telegraph (UK)




Benjamin Künzel
www.klassik.com, July 2019

KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (NTSC) 2.110584-85
KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0083V

No better cast could be chosen for Korngold’s gigantic mystery opera. …Together with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Marc Albrecht revels in unparalleled tonal exhilaration. This Heliane is intoxicating, a whirlwind that draws in listeners irresistibly. …a staging that is both convincing and delivers first-rate interpretation without any compromise on recording. © 2019 www.klassik.com




Uwe Krusch
Pizzicato, July 2019

KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (NTSC) 2.110584-85
KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0083V

The Miracle of Heliane is an opera by Korngold that has been forgotten for about 90 years and has recently been revived several times. This recording from the Deutsche Oper Berlin shines with great vocal performances and an exorbitantly intense and colourful orchestra. © 2019 Pizzicato





Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, June 2019

Sara Jakubiak, in addition to having a remarkable voice, also is very attractive… Very few of today’s sopranos could pull that off! Brian Jagde also is easy on the eyes, and it is to his credit that he can lie perfectly still for long periods of time. A major plus here is the magnificent orchestra under Marc Albrecht who obviously understands the Korngold idiom and leads a passionate, rich performance. © 2019 ClassicalCDReview.com Read complete review



Rafael de Acha
Rafael’s Music Notes, June 2019

The singers, conductor and production team in the Deutsche Oper Berlin recording, issued by NAXOS as a double DVD (2.1105584-85) are good. A strong cast of heavy-weight voices led by soprano Sara Jakubiak, tenor Brian Jagde, baritone Joseph Wagner, baritone Derek Welton, mezzo-soprano Okka von der Damerau, and tenor Burkhard Ulrich share the burden. Marc Albrecht conducts the orchestra and chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. © 2019 Rafael's Music Notes Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2019

KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (NTSC) 2.110584-85
KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0083V

A new production of Erich Korngold’s seldom staged opera that received an unprecedented twenty minute ovation on its first night at Deutsche Oper Berlin. It seemed that justice may at last be taking place, and the Germanic music establishment will now forgive him for selling his immense talents to the Hollywood film industry after his homeland believed in him they had given birth to a new Mozart. As a young man he had already received much acclaim in the world of opera for Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City), and maybe he then made the mistake of revisiting much the same narrative with people returning from the dead. In brief we are taken into a universe where the King rules by a regime of terror, even keeping his gorgeous wife, Heliane, in captivity. A good-looking young stranger has recently arrived and soon gathers around him a following as he dispenses happiness among the people of the kingdom. Unable to accept this turn of events the King has him arrested, his eventual fate being death. Left alone to contemplate that fate, a gorgeous young blond-haired women secretly enters the room. It is the Queen who is attracted to this stranger, eventually granting him his wish, on his final night on earth, and appears before him naked. She leaves and the King enters saying he will free the stranger if he will the secret of persuasion so that at last he will take the Queen into his bed. He then sees his naked wife is already in the room. To save her honour the stranger kills himself, but the distraught King accuses her of infidelity and she is condemned to death. She in turn shows that she has the gift of bringing life back to the dead, and uses it on the stranger. In a fit of anger she is stabbed by the King, he unknowing that she also has the ability to bring herself back from the dead, as love triumphs over everything. This preposterous story is saved by the impact and highly coloured Korngold score, that has more than a hint of Richard Strauss. The stranger is vocally given heroic moments, the part here taken by the young American, Brian Jagde, whose heldontenor qualities are ideal for such a hugely taxing role. The lyric soprano, Sara Jakubiak, does not fake the required nudity, and throughout you feel she is so totally within the character. Austrian baritone, Josef Wagner, is a suitably distraught King who is fulsome in his outbursts, and the lesser parts all well cast. A large chorus act and sing superbly, and the orchestra play wondrously for conductor, Marc Albrecht. Korngold makes life easy for the director, Christof Loy, as only one set is necessary—a large and empty room—the costumes establishing that the action is taking place at the present. It is a long opera, around two and three quarter hours, and with so little action there is not a great deal the film crew can do but give it to us unadorned. There is a Blu-ray version also available on NBD 0083V (just one disc); subtitles come in five languages, and there are informative added tracks. I fully share the audience’s admiration. © 2019 David’s Review Corner



Keris Nine
OperaJournal, June 2019

KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (NTSC) 2.110584-85
KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0083V

Korngold’s score also demands a certain flair and Marc Albrecht is an experienced conductor in this field. To judge purely on impact, the whole character of Korngold is there, distinct from Wagner, Strauss or Schreker, using unconventional instruments in an idiosyncratic way to achieve similar effects. The demands are not just on the principals then but the whole cast and there are consequently impressive performances from Josef Wagner as the distraught and furious King, Okka von der Damerau as the king’s Messenger, Burkhard Ulrich as the Blind Judge and Derek Wetton suitably otherworldly as the Gatekeeper. This is a hugely impressive and revelatory production… © 2019 OperaJournal Read complete review





Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group