Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, January 2013

…the singing…is superb on all levels. Klaus Florian Vogt and Annette Dasch are the Lohengrin and Elsa of the future. Vogt’s light tenor is revelatory in this music, redefining what a Wagner tenor should sound like, and Dasch has a wonderfully controlled instrument that soars with ease among Wagner’s lines.

The sound is excellent…It is a total and complete package well-conceived for the medium, and the Bayreuth orchestra is fabulous. © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Andrew Quint
Fanfare, January 2013

The director Hans Neuenfels, and those who designed the production, imagine Lohengrin as a kind of bio-psychological scientific experiment and the set evokes a “Skinner Box,” the apparatus used for operant conditioning testing. The good people of Brabant are, indeed, rats with cartoon-like hands, feet, tails, and large mesh heads with glowing rodent eyes. A briskly efficient crew of men in blue hazard suits supervises them periodically. These are, it should be noted, rats with a real sense of style, and the stage picture at the end of act II is stunning. The element of fantasy…is entirely in keeping with the conception of Lohengrin as a “fairy tale opera.”

Remarkably, these Bayreuth performances represent the German soprano Annette Dasch’s first go at the role [as Elsa] and she gives a richly complex realization. Her opening lines in act II (“Euch Lüften, die mein Klagen”) are anything but chaste, a quasi-erotic reverie that concludes with her kissing a swan with a phallicly elongated neck.

…Klaus Florian Vogt is the world’s most sought-after Lohengrin…Vogt doesn’t disappoint—his voice is so well suited to the part and his musical instincts so good…the dramatic power of the work rides squarely on the shoulders of the singer in the title role and here Vogt delivers as surely as ever. From his act I entrance right through “In fernem Land,” he holds Elsa, the people of Brabant, and us in his thrall.

As Ortrud, Petra Lang is about as malignantly evil as Wagner’s villains get, sneering, leering, and glaring pretty much every second she’s on camera and offering up some venomous vocalism. Jukka Rasilainen is no weak pawn of his consort…Georg Zeppenfeld has a strong bass instrument but his relatively slight physical presence matches well Wagner’s implication of a weak and insecure monarch.

The chorus, as always at Bayreuth, is phenomenal and Andris Nelsons leads with a sure hand…The cinematography is superb and the imaginative animations that are projected onstage at various points throughout the opera can be ideally viewed in the Extra section along with interviews of Katharina Wagner…Klaus Florian Vogt and Annette Dasch…and Hans Neuenfels… © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

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

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group