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PENTATONE has decided to embark on a unique project: recording the 10 major Wagner operas with the same musical forces. Never before has a record company recorded all of Wagner’s operas with the same orchestra, choir and conductor.
 
This project became possible when the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin decided to program all of Wagner’s operas during three seasons of concert performances. Marek Janowski, the orchestra’s Music Director, felt that in Berlin’s three opera houses too much attention was paid to the mis en scene.

He wanted to enable audiences to listen to the music that Wagner composed without being distracted by the way that stage directors and set designers influence the Wagner experience and ultimately detract from the music.

For the full story we refer to the Gramophone magazine video interview with Marek Janowski which will soon be posted on the Gramophone website. A short version of the interview will be published by Gramophone in the print version of its awards issue (publication date: 7 October 2011).
 
Each opera will only be performed once. Concerts will take place in the Philharmonie in Berlin, one of the "homes" of the orchestra (the other being the Konzerthaus in former East Berlin). The decision to hold the concerts in the prestigious Philharmonie — which was best suited for the mega forces needed to perform the Wagner operas — immediately triggered a variety of logistical problems, as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra performs in this venue for most of the year. Not only were 10 available evenings needed, spread over three seasons, but also at least three days prior to each concert for rehearsals.
 
VIDEO 
Interview mit Marek Janowski  for "Gramophone" by Igor Toronyi-lalic.
 
Take a look at some of the glowing recent press coverage by some of the world's best known publications featuring PENTATONE's Wagner edition. 
 
“Janowski has matured into the most reliably impressive Wagner conductor of our time...[Vogt] has a lovely voice, though it occasionally sounds thin; but he is expressive, intelligent and convincing. So is his Elsa, soprano Annette Dasch. The villains match them, especially mezzo-soprano Susanne Resmark as Ortrud, who calls on the pagan gods with thrilling panache...I await the rest of the Pentatone series with impatience.”
BBC Music Magazine on Lohengrin
 
“It is something of a miracle that a recording of Tristan and Isolde as accomplished as this one can emerge from a single concert performance…It is highly dramatic, tremendously well sustained and very well recorded, so that the mighty structure and the richly blended textures emerge with unusual clarity and immediacy.”
Gramophone on Tristan Und Isolda

"I would say that this is the best recording since that made in Bayreuth in 1962.”
BBC Music Magazine on Tannhauser
 
“This is superbly recorded, mainly wonderfully played , interestingly conducted and reasonably well sung...dramatically gripping as only a well-conducted Rheingold can be...The best reason for getting this set is the Loge of Christian Elsner...Elsner does not miss a trick in catching all the elements of this complex character, but he never sings less than beautifully.”
BBC Music Magazine on Das Rheingold
 
"Again Janowski sets incredible standards with this release which is definitely in the top list in the history of recordings. Highly recommended to purchase! 
Deropernfreund.de on Siegfried
 
For more information, check out the albums and listen to them click on the Wagner Box dedicated page.

 

The Specials

Richard Wagner - Das Rheingold

Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer

Richard Wagner - Tannhäuser

Richard Wagner - Tristan und Isolde

Richard Wagner - Lohengrin

Richard Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Richard Wagner - Parsifal

Richard Wagner - Die Walküre

Richard Wagner - Siegfried

Richard Wagner - Götterdämmerung

Richard Wagner – The Operas