André Cluytens / Paris National Opera Orchestra

Wagner: Overtures & Preludes

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This Archipel disc is likely to appeal only to listeners who absolutely have to have André Cluytens' 1957 recordings of Wagner's overtures to The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser, plus the preludes to Act I of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and to Acts I and III of Lohengrin, coupled with the conductor's 1953 recording of the complete ballet music from Gounod's Faust. Everyone else should look elsewhere. Listeners who admire Cluytens' smoothly sensual Wagner would be better served by the Testament disc that presents these same preludes and overtures in much better sound, and those who admire the conductor's sweetly sentimental Gounod should seek out the EMI disc that includes the ballet music in the context of arias and duets from the opera, in much better sound.

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