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Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg [Blu-ray]
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Détails sur le produit
Descriptions du produit
Salzburg Festival 2013
Conducted by Daniele Gatti Staged by Stefan Herheim
Monika Bohinec Anna Gabler Roberto Saccà Peter Sonn
Michael Volle Markus Werba Georg Zeppenfeld
"A fresh, charming and perceptive production, magical and irresistible!" (New York Times)
- This new staging of Richard Wagner's "Meistersinger" burst upon the Salzburg Festival like a thunderclap.
- Stefan Herheim's idea of staging a midsummer night's dream as a fairytale narrative is enchanting and with this admirably matched ensemble of excellent singer-players, all of whom bring sharp contours to their roles, and the brilliant details of characterization make each scene an experience to cherish.
- This unbelievably lavish and absolutely splendid stage set radiates youthful charm and conjures up a flood of incomparable images.
- Roberto Sacca is a Walther von Sto lzing who shows effortless control in his superb realization of the part; Michael Volle has both the voice and the acting ability to flesh out a fascinatingly multi-layered portrait of the masterful Hans Sachs.
- Amazing to see how convincingly the chorus of the Vienna State Opera acts out the crowds and "how splendid the Vienna Philharmonic sounds" (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
- In the succesful Salzburg Festival serial design and with luxury slipcase, including a Making of.
Picture format Blu-ray Disc: 2 BD in 1080i Full HD 16:9
Sound format Blu-ray Disc: PCM Stereo, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Region code: All (worldwide)
Subtitles: English, German, French, Japanese
Booklet notes: English, German, French
Running time: 270 mins performance + 15 mins documentary
German FSK: 0
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Before the opening is a short pantomime section where we see Hans Sachs waking in the middle of the night and rushing to his desk to write down a new song. Has already lost his first family and stop for a moment to grieve his wife and lift the covers off some of his late children's toys. Traditional productions rarely address that vulnerability. As the overture begins he draws a scrim across the stage that is first still lets us see is home but gradually begins changing to focus in on his desk the center of his life now.
A larger version of the desk becomes the church of the first act and the area between his home and Pogner's for the second act.
There already is a fair amount of magic hinted at in the original, when Beckmesser "finds" the poem, at the attempted elopement, in the Festival, and here the director provides a little smoke for some atmosphere, but the actions are always included within the scope of Wagner's music, and are entirely in keeping with the music. I never saw these facets before.
At times the costumes may be tweaked to slightly suggest a certain fairytale but the director is very wise and not making any direct allusions. As we are reminded with Chinese Japanese and Korean being the first three choices for subtitles this is an international production and each country has their own folklore.
The standout of the production was Michael Volle, the Sachs, who I've seen in several other productions and who is simply perfect here: commanding, vulnerable, tender, funny and a great baritone. He can show the intelligence of a Fischer-Dieskau in one phrase with a full dramatic range in the next moment. Roberto Sacca is the Walther in fine voice, on the mature side, but the Glyndebourne Walther seems only a raw teenager beside him. The Eva, Anna Gabler, is in both productions, seen better here. Beckmesser, Markus Werba, is here younger, better voiced, more human and a more creditable competitor for Eva's hand than usual. I will be on the lookout for more from all of these singers including the David, Peter Sonn, who also did a great job.
I have several Meistersingers on laserdisc and enjoyed them for many years (still do) but it's really exciting to see these new singers who will have careers that will far outlive me. At the same time, there are great CDs of singers from the past where I can still hear the 78 of the quintet "Selig wie die Sonne" I grew up hearing that I still prefer over the one in this production. It's on "German Vocal Ensembles" and "L'Introuvables du Chant Wagnerien" with many other gems.
The orchestra is the Vienna Philharmonic under Gatti and the 5.1 sound is flawless save for a bit of roughness in the principle mens' voices when they sing loudly (both stereo and 5.1). i've already contacted Euroarts and await their response. I'll update when i hear; in the meanwhile, pointing speakers away a bit seems to lessen it.
All in all this Meistersinger is an absolute winner and an essential despite the small issue with sound. I have enjoyed the Glyndebourne production but it seems very much closer to the ones I've enjoyed for the past 30 years on video.
I am not a paid reviewer - I ordered this as soon as I saw it listed at presto.
Audiences must start demanding better of these people who Jonas Kaufmann was quoted as saying "work out their childhood problems through their productions rather than paying to see a therapist." There is room for interpretation but isn't the idea to convey what the what composer had in mind? Wagner didn't just supply a score. He gives production notes and stage direction. He had concepts and ideas in mind. Good grief.
So what's the problem with a fairy tale look? Arguably, that could be played acceptably. It could even be charming. But this opera doesn't begin in the church as written, it begins with a completely fabricated scene. Is that acceptable? When the munchkins turn to dry-humping each other at the end of Act 2, I could hardly go on.
I regret buying this DVD because I've contributed to someone thinking they did something of value. Rubbish.
If it's that bad, why 2 stars? Could not bring myself to penalize the singers and the orchestra. They are stuck with the director's mess.
While Glyndebourne's tone was more settled and sober; Salzburg's veers unpredictably between realism and surrealism, the serious and the silly. When you watch Glyndebourne, you pretty much know what's coming, and you hope the familiar scenes to come are going to play in such a richly satisfying way as what you've already seen. When you watch Salzburg, you don't know what's coming, and it has a bit of magic-show excitement about it. Herheim does overdo the whimsy in places. This is a staging I think could still go through modification and editing on its way to the Met (general manager Peter Gelb scooped it up quickly for a future season). I am not sure Herheim has carried all of his ideas through to the fullest. The first two acts present the characters as miniatures, the whole first act on a set that is a large-scale replica of the writing desk of the Sachs we saw waking in the prelude. The second act moves away from the writing desk, but continues the "miniatures in Sachs's home" idea, with Magdalena-as-Eva atop a chest of drawers, letting down a long braid to Beckmesser, Rapunzel style. In both of those acts, Sachs's books (Das Knaben Wunderhorn and Grimm Fairy Tales, also large-scale models) release fantastic objects and creatures which mingle with the characters. But then a long stretch at the beginning of Act III becomes nearly a standard, realistic MEISTERSINGER, the bold experiments with scenic scale having petered out (there is a marvelous coup de théâtre at the eventual scene change). Herheim obviously loves the work, and he knows his German culture and gets smart allusions in. Unlike some of his peers in Regietheater, he also is not averse to eye candy. This is an enchantingly beautiful production to look at, purely at the levels of set, costume, and lighting design, and it has been well filmed.
Where the endeavor suffers most is in the casting of the young lovers, Walther and Eva. There is a noticeable dip in audience enthusiasm when those singers take the stage in the final ovations, and one sees why. Anna Gabler, who also sang Eva in the Glyndebourne production, is a lovely woman, convincing in the period and even looking like a fairy-tale princess, though she was more flatteringly dressed and coiffed in the earlier performance. Unfortunately, what just barely worked vocally in the intimate confines of Glyndebourne is a bridge too far in the Großes Festspielhaus. She squeaks and huffs her way through so much glorious music, and by the time her important line in the quintet comes around, she labors to sustain it. Her consort, tenor Roberto Saccà, is a good singer limited by an unremarkable and worn instrument. He knows just what to do in terms of shaping the music, but what comes out is dry and wobbly, and he does not look much younger than the Sachs. These days, the "B" couple tends to be luckier in casting, as here: Monika Bohinec's Magdalena gets some great reaction shots, and the David (Peter Sonn) is an adroit comedian and a fine singer, doing the traditional eager-boy shtick without making it precious or grating.
The unusually young, preeningly handsome Beckmesser of Markus Werba is star-making stuff. When his music steadies up for the serenades, you hear truly beautiful singing, and he commands the stage. Herheim overdirects the Beckmesser/Sachs confrontation in Act III (Beckmesser actually physically assaults Sachs, none too convincingly), but Werba invests it with the malicious authority of a raging Alberich. He also figures in something of a surprise ending, which made it clearer to me why such a young baritone was cast. It makes perfect sense that Werba/Beckmesser gets the next-to-last singer bow. Michael Volle is not a vocally suave and mellifluous Sachs in the line from Schorr to Finley -- Volle's delivery is frequently gruff and biting -- but he manages to bring out *all* the sides of Sachs, not just the kindness, intelligence and philosophical leanings, although those too. This time one believes the talk of Sachs's temper, of his apprentice fearing his blows. He is the very picture of an ordinary man of a bygone time (either the 16th or the 19th century), more enlightened than most, barely keeping a lid on rising irritation at the provincial attitudes around him. Herheim makes good use of this ability to convey anger, and the "Wahn!" monologue finds Volle working himself into quite a lather. Georg Zeppenfeld's Pogner makes you look forward to every line and regret there are not more of them. He has a strong presence too, lean and graceful. There have been more arresting and inspired accounts of the score, but Maestro Daniele Gatti accompanies lovingly, and it is hard to resist the sound his idiomatic Viennese forces make in this music.
This does not displace Glyndeboune as my first choice for a MEISTERSINGER DVD. McVicar's is less ambitious than Herheim's as a directorial capital-S "statement" on the work, but it is also more polished, better worked out, and the direction on the human level is of great delicacy. Perhaps Glyndebourne is for the heart and Salzburg for the brain. Both are strongly recommended and likely to repeat well, the Glyndebourne because favorite moments will satisfy again and again, the Salzburg because there is a lot to take in on the first try. The Salzburg should be seen on the largest screen possible, by the way. I had a hard time mentally hooking into it in the first couple of attempts on a portable player, but on a large TV, it went by like a flash. Herheim is a still-young director who tends to swing for the fences, and his is a career worth following. I can imagine some operagoers sitting through this production as if in the marker's box, loudly chalking down the faults ("Wrong period! That isn't in the libretto! She's not supposed to be on stage!"). I think that that would be a mistake, because Herheim's talent and his insight are equivalent to his daring. The bird has a well-formed beak.
A bonus feature provides a long look (about 15 minutes) at one of Herheim's information-packed piano rehearsals. Only Herheim and Volle are interviewed. The latter is greatly impressed with the former's intelligence and creative energy, and talks of the challenging but rewarding experience of the production.
Even for Wagner, DMVN at 5 hours is an endurance contest. Rarely do I have 5 hours for anything so I normally go for the highlights which, for me, are the overture, the first scene in Saint Catherine’s Church, and the final scene, the Feast Day of Saint John which is one of the greatest scenes in opera. Afraid I agree with Rossini who said, more or less, Wagner is 5 minutes of sheer genius interspersed between half hours of tedium. Or in the vernacular of today, Wagner has moments to die for and moments where you wish you were dead. I realize that this sacrilege makes me a low brow, an uncouth country bumpkin, and an obtuse klutz but I’m just not interested in devouring liver and eggplant to get to the chocolate cake.
On the METs old Opera Quiz one of the most frequent guests was Father Owen Lee who said that DMVN is the greatest of all the operas. Don’t know if I’d go that far but it has the best final scene in all of opera, ranking right up there with the Grand March from Aida and the Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov. No matter what kind of mood I am in it lifts my spirits. And considering my grim nature that’s hard to do. If you just have to have all the DMVNs get this one along with all the others. But, if you can afford only one, go for the Glyneborne if, like me, you value pageantry over nuance. It has a stage filled with enthusiastic supers, stilt walkers, jugglers, under aged drinkers, real Girls from Furth, and a Hans Sachs who is far too dignified a gentleman to fondle women in public. Be sure to watch the final scene; it’s the most fun you will ever have with your clothes on.