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Matthew Richard Martinez, April 2014

WAGNER GALA (THE) (Kaufmann, Thielemann) (NTSC) 714908
WAGNER GALA (THE) (Kaufmann, Thielemann) (Blu-ray, HD) 715004

This is an exceptional release that captures a momentous occasion. While the performances are as outstanding as expected, there is more here: a potentially legendary tenor captured in his prime, and a burgeoning relationship between director and orchestra with limitless potential in this music. There is a disarming directness in these performances of Wagner that are faithful to the music but exceedingly affecting—recommended for all, not just Wagnerites. © 2014 Read complete review

Colin Anderson
Sinfini Music, April 2014

Christian Thielemann…favours spacious and flexible tempos, and exploits the orchestra’s refulgent sound. It’s good to have the rare Faust overture, here performed with something dark lurking behind the scenes, mystery and potency as one.

In Jonas Kaufmann we have one of the most popular tenors around. He is in mellifluous voice here…the performances, whether celestial, swaggering or grand, do not disappoint. A surprising if welcome inclusion is Fraternité by Hans Werner Henze, initially coolly wafting in from the Elysian Fields, then building hypnotically to opulent beauty… © 2014 Sinfini Music Read complete review

Robert Benson, February 2014

This Wagner DVD offers a concert the eve of the composer’s bicentennial (May 21, 2013) to commemorate the Staatskapelle Dresden’s long commitment to Wagner’s music. Their principal conductor, Christian Thielemann, directed and the soloist was tenor Jonas Kaufmann. It is a wonderful concert in every way offering arias and scenes from three operas (Rienzi, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser) sung with consummate artistry by the remarkable tenor…as always with Thielemann, there is impeccable attention to detail. The orchestra is magnificent, camera work could not be bettered, and audio completely captures Wagner’s rich orchestration. A splendid issue for the Wagner Bicentennial. © 2014 Read complete review

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