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ALLA BREVE

December 21, 1986|ALLAN ULRICH

WAGNER: OVERTURES AND PRELUDES TO "DIE MEISTERSINGER," "TANNHAEUSER," "RIENZI," "LOHENGRIN." Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Klaus Tennstedt. Angel CDC 7 47030 2 (compact disc). WAGNER: EXCERPTS FROM "DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN." Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Klaus Tennstedt. Angel CDC 7 47007 2 (compact disc). Tennstedt is not sufficient master of this repertory in the opera house to confer credibility on these voiceless, bleeding chunks from the "Ring," and Angel hasn't helped by assembling them out of sequence, so that the disc begins with "Ride of the Valkyries" and ends with "Wotan's Farewell." The Berliners' sheen make the overtures disc a more attractive proposition, with the shimmering strings and arching line of the "Lohengrin" Prelude blissfully captured. Tennstedt weaves a modicum of sensuality into the "Tannhaeuser" selection, although the lumbering "Meistersinger" opening will please only those who like their Wagner monumental and stodgy. The sonics are without blemish.

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