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"Lohengrin" was premiered in Weimar in 1850 under the direction of Franz
Liszt. The performance was a triumph for the composer, who, however, was
unable to attend: he had been exiled for taking part in the 1848 uprisings
in Dresden. Director Götz Friedrich took this historical background into
account by having the radiant knight appear at the end dressed in black - a
symbol for the dashed hopes of the German revolutionaries. The political
message, however, generally pales before the aesthetic power of the images
which depict the Middle Ages in a totally abstract manner. As Lohengrin,
Peter Hofmann gives a performance that is dazzling in every gesture and
every tone. Karan Armstrong replies with a very lyrical timbre and applies
expressionistic means to convey sorrow, wonder and the bitterness of leave-
taking. This production by Götz Friedrich was recorded at the Bayreuth
Festspielhaus in 1982.
||Peter Hofmann, Karan Armstrong, Elizabeth Connell, Leif Roar, Siegfried Vogel, Bernd Weikl
||Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele
||Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele