Marc Minkowski / Les Musiciens du Louvre - Grenoble

Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer

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When Richard Wagner failed to have his one-act version of Der fliegende Holländer staged at the Paris Opera, the cash-strapped composer sold a synopsis of the plot, written in broken French. This was fashioned into a proper libretto, which was then set to music by Pierre-Louis Dietsch, who enjoyed 11 performances of Le Vasseau fantôme before it was pulled from the repertoire in 1843. Ironically, Wagner's success with Der fliegende Holländer in Dresden happened shortly after that, and the expanded three-act version has remained an essential part of Wagner's canon. Yet for this Naïve box set, Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble perform Wagner's original score in a side-by-side match-up with Dietsch's piece, to draw interesting comparisons between the works and to place them in their time period. Certainly both composers fell under the sway of Donizetti and Meyerbeer, and Dietsch's music is charming, if mediocre, when compared with Wagner's highly original conception. There probably aren't many Dietsch aficionados around to snap up this set, though Wagner specialists will be keen to hear the seldom performed one-act Holländer, and the exceptional performances of both operas and the exceptional sound will be bonuses. However, most listeners should make a point of knowing the full version of Wagner's opera, and listen to this fascinating recording afterwards.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Le Vaisseau fantóme ou le Maudit des Mers
1 9:31
2 12:34
3 7:47
4 6:28
5 4:46
6 4:15
7 1:57
8 4:46
9 11:02
10 6:52
blue highlight denotes track pick