Lothar Zagrosek

Wagner: Siegfried

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A fully worthy Siegfried, this live performance with Lothar Zagorsek leading the Stuttgart State Opera is nearly a complete success from top to bottom. Best of all, of course, is Zagorsek himself. Best known for his series of Entarte Musik recordings on Decca, Zagorsek proves himself here to be a great Wagner conductor, leading a polished but passionate and dramatic but very funny performance of the lightest and most cheerful of the Ring operas. The Stuttgart Opera Orchestra proves to be an excellent ensemble with a host of superb solo players -- check out the woodwinds and brass in Scene 2 from Act II. The cast is for the most part top-rate. Wolfgang Schöne's Wotan is strong but subtle and ultimately tragic. Jon Fredric West's Siegfried is broad yet affecting and ultimately heroic. Heinz Göhrig's Mime is whiney but witty and ultimately deserving of his fate. Lisa Gasteen is warm but wary and ultimately embracing her fate. If Attila Jun's Fafner is too blustery, that is perhaps as much the fault of the staging as the singer, and if Helene Ranada's Erda is too weepy, that is perhaps as much the fault of the character as the singer. Recorded live in big, deep, and detailed sound by producer Thomas Angelkorte, this Siegfried is well worth hearing by the discerning Wagnerian.

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