Music and Vision homepage READ Andrew Schartmann's Musical Tidbits


<<  -- 2 --  Robert Anderson    DRAMATIC SKILL


Mime's steel-rimmed spectacles suggest a part-time scholar. It is the more disappointing, therefore, that he is not more astute in his questioning of Falk Struckmann's Wanderer, who seems in better voice since he realised his days as a divinity were limited. Mime is right, though, to be suspicious of a visitor got up in an old trilby hat and a raincoat that any Oxfam shop would reject with scorn. But Bertrand de Billy from the rostrum and his Barcelona players do him proud, lending a dignity with unusually measured tempo that the costume of Reinhard Heinrich has gratuitously withheld [listen -- 'Heil dir, weiser Schmied!', DVD1 track 10, 0:00-1:31].

Günter von Kannen (Alberich, left) and Falk Struckmann (Wotan) in Act 2 of Wagner's 'Siegfried'. © 2005 Opus Arte
Günter von Kannen (Alberich, left) and Falk Struckmann (Wotan) in Act 2 of Wagner's 'Siegfried'. © 2005 Opus Arte

The altercation between Günter von Kannen as Alberich and the Wanderer at the start of Act 2 is powerfully done [listen -- 'Zur Neidhöle fuhr ich bei Nacht', DVD2 track 3, 0:00-1:17]. It has no effect on the shapeless heap of a dragon who eventually emerges to challenge Siegfried and, when resuming his shape as a giant, proves to be not the Fafner of Rheingold but the Walküre Hunding on temporary leave from Valhalla, strongly sung by Eric Halfvarson. I have purposely let the Siegfried of John Treleaven mature a little beyond the boy who plays with bears in Mime's factory. He is at his best with Cristina Obregón's Woodbird [listen -- 'Da lieg' auch du, dunkler Wurm!', DVD2 track 17, 6:05-7:10]. If only the poor bird was bobbing less obviously up and down on a piece of string.

Continue >>

Copyright © 6 July 2005 Robert Anderson, London UK


 << Music & Vision home      Recent DVD reviews       Richard Wilson >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.