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Nicholas Till
Nineteenth-Century Music Review, June 2015

…the Bayreuth Chorus, whether fidgeting rodent-like in their rat costumes, deftly executing the numerous quick changes, or regimenting themselves in complex visual formations like privates on parade, are simply magnificent, singing, despite their physical impediments, with both ravishing subtlety and, when required, a roof-raising gusto that is spine-chilling. © 2015 Nineteenth-Century Music

Arnold Whittall
Gramophone, October 2012

WAGNER, R.: Lohengrin (Bayreuth Festival, 2011) (NTSC) OA1071D
WAGNER, R.: Lohengrin (Bayreuth Festival, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7103D

This is a rather special Lohengrin…what you hear is imposing evidence of the rewards that result when singers galvanised by the unconventional demands of a stage director are also inspired by a conductor with the rare ability to combine formal lucidity with expressive intensity. In his first Wagner recording, Andris Nelsons confirms the golden opinions of his work in Birmingham and elsewhere: the spacious Bayreuth sound is moulded with exceptional tonal refinement and richness of colour…Vogt has more than enough stamina and vocal authority to sustain the role [Lohengrin]. All six solo singers are musically excellent and dramatically persuasive, with Petra Lang’s excoriating Ortrud and Georg Zeppenfeld’s grave yet warm-toned King Henry particularly memorable. Annette Dasch vividly conveys Elsa’s extraordinary blend of vulnerability and pig-headedness…The general air of conviction owes much to the excellent cinematography, with a variety of camera angles—including one from high above the stage—showing the resourcefulness with which video director Michael Beyer uses current technology.

The main reason Andris Nelsons’s contribution stands out is that, in his case, ‘interpretation’ means achieving the best possible results with the materials Wagner himself provided. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Jim Pritchard
MusicWeb International, 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

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