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Colin Clarke
Fanfare, September 2012

…the DVD set is worth acquiring for a variety of reasons, chief among which is Peter Seiffert.

Sebastian Weigle shapes the overture to Tannhäuser magnificently. The reading is replete with expressive, carefully planned shadings.

The offstage chorus is exemplary, and perfectly distanced.

Beatrice Uria-Monzon is a creamy voiced, mezzo Venus, as alluring vocally as she is physically…The Venus-Tannhäuser scene of the first act really introduces us to Seiffert’s superb capabilities…It is immediately obvious he has the role completely. The voice is strong, confident, and ardent (as in his cries to Venus to free him to go to Earth), yet lyrical throughout. In short, he fully inhabits the world of the Heldentenor. His Rome Narrative (act III) shows his voice strong and virile, and his portrayal gripping from first to last.

Petra Maria Schnitzer is an imposing presence, and her fine soprano has no problems attaining heights of ecstasy.

Eliana Bayón is an excellent Shepherd (again, distancing is excellently managed).

The chorus is excellent throughout, perhaps shining most in act II (scene 4).

A thought-provoking and musically satisfying addition to anyone’s Wagner DVD collection. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Paul Pelkonen
Superconductor, May 2012

Peter Sieffert and Bèatrice Uria-Monzon crackle in this act, with the former singing the demanding tenor part with a powerful tone and stamina…the heavy-set, mustachioed tenor is a convincing Tannhäuser, especially in this artists-colony setting. Ms. Uria-Monzon is a memorable Venus. She brings sensual beauty to the part, but more importantly has a ringing mezzo-soprano that can melt like butter.

The supporting cast is pretty good. Baritone Markus Eiche…plays Wolfram as a scowling rival. He…delivers a smooth, potent “O du mein holder Abendstern.”

Tenor Vicente Ombuena is a discovery here, bringing sweet, plangent tone to the small role of Walther von der Vogelweide.

The chorus is a key component of Tannhäuser. The dancers mainly confine themselves to wild gestures with paint-brushes. The pilgrims are art enthusiasts in the first act, literally picking up their paintings and clearing the stage. In the Act III chorus scene, they bring the frames back without the paintings, making them look like they are carrying crosses back from Rome. The final redemption is in an art museum full of nudes, with Tannhäuser’s now-accepted painting about to be hung underneath Botticelli’s Nascita di Venere. For any artist, that would be redemption enough. © 2012 Superconductor Read complete review

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