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This live 2011 recording is the fourth installment in Pentatone's ambitious Wagner cycle, set to be completed in 2013 to celebrate the bicentennial of the composer's birth, featuring Marek Janowski leading Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Rundfunkchor Berlin. Janowski's reading, which is in general snappier than the average, wisely leans toward emphasizing the extremes in the score; the slow sections are ethereally serene and the fast have a buoyant, sometimes almost reckless energy. It makes for an exciting and propulsive performance, and the orchestra plays with agility and rich, sensuous tone. This is a concert performance, but everyone involved performs with urgency and strong sense of drama.Gnnther Groissb¸ck as Heinrich stands head and shoulders above the rest of the cast. His oaken, ringing, authoritative bass rivets attention whenever he sings; he's entirely persuasive as a powerful medieval monarch. As Telramund, Gerd Grochowski has less commanding vocal equipment, but he's a terrifically... Hide synopsis

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