SIEGFRIED WAGNEER: Sonnenflammen
VERDI: Il trovatore
BRAHMS: Concerto for Violin and Cello, Op. 102. SCHULHOFF: Duo
for Violin and Cello. TCHAIKOVSKY: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture LIST: Les
Siegfried Wagner (1869 -1930) perhaps had little choice except to enter the world of music, being the son of one of the greatest composers of the time. He composed profusely (18 operas) and conducted - he was music director of the Bayreuth Festival 1908 - 1930 where he led his father's Ring Cycle as did Felix Mottl and Hans Richter, who had conducted its premiere 20 years earlier.Sieg fried was openly bi-sexual. It seems rather ironic that Siegfried is the manlhy hero in Richard's Ring Cycle. At the insistence of his family at the age of 45 he married the 17-year old Englishwoman, Winifred Klindworth, and they had four children, although he remained active in the homosexual world. Siegfried's children later took over control of the Festival in 2008 presenting inappropriate sometimes bizarre productions of Richard's magnificent operas. This unusual new DVD gives us an opportunity to experience the fifth of Siegfried's 18 operas, Sonnen Flammen"Sun Flames." It is a live performance from August 15/16, 2020 in Reichshof Kulturbühne Bayreuth before a very small but enthusiastic audience. In 2009 this site was unenthusiastic about a DVD of Siegfried's third opera, The Goblin (REVIEW). It featured some of the performers heard on this new issue as well as PPP Music Theatre Ensemble Munich and Bayreuth Digital ORchestra. The convoluted plot is described in detail in the program notes. Staging is simple, costumes almost comic. Surely no one would want this for the music; it is another example of Siegfried's uninspired writing. This is an oddity; approach with extreme caution!!
This site recently praised a spectacular 2019 Zefferelli [rpdictiopm pf Il trovatore from the Verona amphithea†er (REVIEW) Now we have another one, this one from Teatro Regiodi Palma October 5 and 9, 2010. This production is the anthethesis of the Verona production. William Orlandi designed sets and costumes, and they usually are stark. The choruss, so important in this opera, is robust, and videogrpher Tiziano Mancini always fouses on what should be seen. This performance was released some years ago and reviewed unenthsistically on this site (REVIEWW). It seems odd that this unexceptional performance is here reissued. The "bonus" is a 10-minute feature about history of the opera.
Christian Thielemann's latest video is this concert recorded during in 2017 in Dresden's Semperoper. It is a standard program of classics featuring the brilliant young violinist Lisa Batiashvili and cellist Gautier Capuçon in the Brahms Double Concerto plus, rather like an encore, the brief (4:49) Gypsyesque second movement of the Duo for Violin and Cello by Erwin Schulhoff ( 1894 - 1942). We also have two familiar classics, the Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet and Liszt's finest symphonic poem. The Dresden Orchestra i a virtuoso ensemble; these are magnificent performances, and the multi-channel audio is first-rate. A fine release!
R.E.B. (April 2021)