This page lists all recordings of Siegfried: Waldweben (Forest Murmurs), by Richard Wagner (1813-83) on CD, DVD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.
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Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts Volume 1
This selection of some of Wagner’s finest orchestral excerpts opens with the ‘storm-swept ballad’ of Der fliegende Holländer, the opera which launched his epoch-defining later masterpieces. The entire span of Der Ring des Nibelungen is represented in this programme, from the luminous rainbow bridge which leads the gods to Valhalla in Das Rheingold, the urgent drama of Die Walküre, and the atmospheric repose of the Forest Murmurs in Siegfried, to the tragic depths of Siegfried’s Funeral March. This recording has been praised for its ‘radiant sensuousness’. (Gramophone) Volumes 2 and 3 in this series are available on 8572768 and 8572769.
(also available to download from $5.75)
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
Wagner: Orchestral Highlights
“There is not one performance on this set that is less than eloquent. It is plain from these recordings that Klemperer is a great Wagner conductor, probably the greatest in the world.” Gramophone Magazine
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Hans Knappertsbusch conducts Wagner
‘It’s Wagner’s opera: let’s present him and not ourselves!’ This remark by Hans Knappertsbusch to Hans Hotter as the singer was about go on stage as Gurnemanz at Bayreuth in 1964 was characteristic of the conductor’s attitude. Singers’ egos, directors’ concepts and designers’ flights of fancy had no place in the Knappertsbusch vision of Wagner’s stage works. Indeed, after his second season at ‘New Bayreuth’, he told Wieland Wagner: ‘As soon as the spirit of Richard Wagner moves back into the Festspielhaus, I shall be the first to return’. And yet it would be hard to find a more flexible and spontaneous exponent of the conductor’s art than Hans Knappertsbusch, or ‘Kna’ as his friends and colleagues called him. No two of his performances were alike, which made him a difficult conductor to ‘capture’ in the clinical environment of the recording studio. He was notoriously averse to rehearsals, preferring to take inspiration from the moment when everything came together in the crucible of a live performance in the theatre or concert hall. Frequently the result was magnificent as this collection is testament to.
This collection brings together the bulk of his Wagner orchestral recordings for Decca (with the Wiener Philharmoniker), with scenes from Parsifal with members of the Wiener Staatsopernchor and the ‘Forest Murmurs’ from Siegfried with Franz Lechleitner in the title role – in all, more than two-and-a-half hours of music recorded for Decca between 1950 and 1959. Australian Wagner scholar Peter Bassett contributes the illuminating notes for this release.
Knappertsbusch died in October 1965 in Munich, following a fall at his home. In a long musical life, he explored the works of the great classical composers with intelligence and imagination; but, as he himself said, it was to Wagner’s music dramas that he devoted ‘his most and his deepest’.
“I must praise the mellow quality of the brass … and the lovely cantabile of the strings, and above all the way in which, without exaggeration, Knappertsbusch captures the mystical mood of the Prelude. […] The voices are placed in excellent perspective and Günther Treptow makes a good Parsifal.” Gramophone Magazine (Parsifal)
“He always allows Wagner’s music to unroll at its own natural pace, never forces or drives it. One hears details that one had never noticed in the score. And when it comes to a climax, then none can rival Knappertsbusch’s magnicently rich, resonant, clear, spacious recording, which has the incidental advantages of demonstrating superb orchestral playing and Wagner conducting as fine as one can hope to hear … Nothing seems to get lost in those massive climaxes” Gramophone Magazine (Tannhäuser, Fliegende Holländer, Walküre)
“…the Götterdämmerung excerpts are most beautifully played with an abundant degree of warmth and a moderate degree of savagery where these qualities are called for […] the beauty of sound … is incontestable” Gramophone Magazine
“the glorious playing of the Vienna Philharmonic” Gramophone Magazine (Tristan)
Scheduled for release on 15 July 2013. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.
Wagner: transcribed for solo piano by August Stradal, Volume One
Juan Guillermo Vizcarra (piano)
The Czech-born pianist and writer August Stradal (1860–1930) – a student of Bruckner and disciple of Liszt – was one of the more prolific transcribers of the nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries.
He produced a vast quantity of piano music, including Liszt’s orchestral works, most of the Bruckner symphonies, a good deal of the Baroque (not least a huge amount of Bach) and much more.
These transcriptions are phenomenally difficult to play.
This is the first in a series of recordings presents his Wagner transcriptions, cast in the best barnstorming virtuoso tradition.
They are an unusual way of marking the Wagner bicentenary in 2013.
“typically dense and thickly scored, and technically challenging. An enjoyable but tiring listen.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2013 ***
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
Toscanini conducts…Christmas Day Concert etc
This double album constitutes one of the most important issues of Toscanini’s recorded legacy in that it combines in these two CDs the first ever broadcast concert the Maestro gave with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra founded expressly for him in 1937 in New York, and the last - his final appearance with the Orchestra in April 1954. A great deal of interest therefore attaches to these two events, combined for the first time as a commercially issued package - a true ‘hail and farewell‘ (Ave Atque Vale) to the art of the conductor whom many reagard as the greatest of all.
“The quality of the music making is high and I don’t think one would discern, simply from listening, that the conductor’s powers were waning. He leads a distinguished performance of the timeless Lohengrin Prelude and distils excellent atmosphere in ‘Forest Murmurs’...Toscanini’s very last performance was a fine one.” MusicWeb International, March 2012
Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.