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Cat. No. CHAN 3045(4) Price: £27 No. of discs: 4
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CHAN 3045 - Wagner: Siegfried
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Available From: 15 January 2001
In May 1851, before Wagner started work on the music of Siegfreid’s Death, he recognised a need to precede it with a further opera, to be called Young Siegfried (what we now know as Siegfried), which should cover the events of his hero’s earlier life. By October he was already broaching to his closest friends the notion that the cosmic background to Siegfried’s own history should be filled with not one but two further preliminary dramas. The texts of The Rheingold and The Valkyrie, and the alterations to the previously written poems which this change of plan necessitated, took him until the end of the following year, 1852. Wagner finally started the gigantic task of setting his poem to music in September 1853; by the summer of 1857 he had got as far as the end of the second act of Siegfried, when he decided to lay it on one side – for what turned out to be twelve years.

With Tristan and Isolde and The Mastersingers – composed during this twelve-year period – out of his system, Wagner was able to resume work on the Ring in March 1869, with even greater technical mastery. In 1874 he completed Twilight of the Gods and The Ring of the Nibelungen was given for the first time in August 1876, nearly thirty years after the work was conceived.

From the very first, Wagner had seen Siegfried as an heroic saviour whose mission it was to redeem the gods, by his willing self-sacrifice, from the guilt of their will to power and the crime this led them to commit, and in doing so to redeem the world from the slavery of greed for wealth.
Reviews

‘Even for people who, understandably, shrunk from the thought of the Ring on disc in English, this is a quite special set, far too exciting and full of fresh perceptions to remain unpurchased’.
Gramophone

‘The hero of this set is undoubtedly Goodall. This is majestic Wagner, imperiously phrased, lovingly nuanced. The orchestral playing is superb and the eight Valkyries include the names Anne Evans, Sarah Walker, Anne Collins and Elizabeth Connell. Enoug
The Sunday Telegraph on CHAN 3038(4)

‘as such, it is that rare thing on disc, a genuinely unique record of a real artistic acheivement’.
BBC Music Magazine

‘…Goodall works his most moving effects, with much exquisite woodwind playing… the orchestral interludes and the closing pages are heartbreakingly eloquent.’
International Record Review on CHAN 3038(4)

‘The Peter Moores Foundation is to be thanked for sponsoring this marvellous set – and there are two more to come’.
Sunday Telegraph

‘This first instalment sounds better than ever. Every word is crystal clear, and the cast is uniformly excellent… it is Goodall’s conducting that is truly spellbinding… the work of a supreme Wagner interpreter.’
The Guardian on CHAN 3038(4)

‘The entire recording industry can be proud of this production.’
American Record Guide

 

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