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Ralph P Locke
American Record Guide, May 2018

The orchestra (from whose members the Vienna Philharmonic is drawn) sounds splendid: very tight in ensemble, but never nervous or tense. The strings are beautifully cushy, with an occasional touch of sweet portamento. Ozawa conducts the Dutchman track, Welser-Most the rest.

The mezzo and the three males acquit themselves admirably, as one might expect. Botha and Stemme do an excerpt from Act 2 of Walküre, both sounding very involved in the drama yet vocalizing securely. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Henson Keys
Opera News, May 2018

Led by Seiji Ozawa, Stemme presents a psychologically complex Senta, utilizing an unusual range of vocal colors with thrilling shifts in volume to express shifting emotions. In the final scene, Stemme pairs with Falk Struckmann, as the Dutchman, and Franz Hawlata, as Daland; again, the emotional landscape is finely realized by Ozawa, who maintains tension as Stemme unleashes clarion high notes with admirable ease; the singing remains lyrical and tonally pure.

It’s a pleasure to hear the frenzied audience response after the final note ends. This disc is a master class in singing Wagner with great tonal beauty and lyricism, never sacrificing dramatic power. © 2018 Opera News Read complete review

David Mellor
Classic FM, March 2018

Nina Stemme is arguably the leading Wagner soprano of today, and this enticing Orfeo disc captures her live in four Wagner operas, from recordings made at the Vienna State Opera between 2003 and 2013. © 2018 Classic FM Read complete review

Mike Ashman
Gramophone, March 2018

There is a beautiful control of line and length of phrase in the Swede’s singing here, together with a beyond fearless placing of the tessitura—a special performance, well noticed and chosen by Orfeo.

This is indeed a record of outstanding vocalism… © 2018 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, March 2018

[Stemme] sprang to operatic fame overnight, for many record buyers, when she was chosen by Plácido Domingo to be his Isolde on EMI’s Tristan und Isolde in 2005, two years after this collection begins. The word had gone out about her voice, which possessed the magical combination of power and femininity. Stemme’s tone was warm, but she could also carry over a large opera orchestra, and her top notes didn’t shriek or turn steely. She was musical to listen to and attractive on stage.

Stemme sounds lustrous in Senta’s Ballad… She conveys intensity and lyricism in equal balance, using a generous vibrato that will later become more prominent. The aria’s range and its awkward leaps pose no difficulties.

Moving closer to the Isolde-Brünnhilde challenge, we get the touching act II scene in Die Walküre where the fleeing Siegmund and Sieglinde stop to rest, and it’s a marked success for Stemme—her voice is rich, tonally shaded, and sympathetic in conveying the frightened Sieglinde’s vulnerability. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

Simon Thompson
MusicWeb International, February 2018

The fact that Orfeo have dedicated an entire disc to Nina Stemme’s Wagner recordings at the Vienna Staatsoper is an acknowledgement that she is (surely!) the greatest dramatic soprano working today. She’s certainly the most in-demand. The voice may be ever so slightly past the peak of its prime, but anyone who has encountered her in the theatre will tell you that Stemme remains a compelling actress and a singer of flawless technique and fearless dedication.

This is altogether much more than a just a useful record: it’s a collection of great Wagner singing done the way it should be. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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