Wolfgang Wagner's Bayreuth Festival production of "Die Meistersinger von
Nürnberg" was recorded in HDTV 1250 and Betacam Digital 16:9. A boisterous,
colorful interpretation, this "Meistersinger" follows the original stage
instructions and respects the historical framework of the piece. Beneath a
stylized globe symbolizing the universal validity of the artist's search
for his role in society, the action unfolds in an intricately choreographed
interplay of solo scenes and ensembles. Daniel Barenboim's musical
direction was unanimously acclaimed by the press. Le Monde, for example,
wrote that he "fully possesses its spirit: poetic, fluid, very slender, his
instrumental discourse is irresistible".
Among the vocal soloists, Peter Seiffert (as Walther von Stolzing) and
Robert Holl (as Hans Sachs) have been consistently singled out for their
superb interpretations in the past years. Emily Magee confers a subtle,
youthful grace upon the coveted young daughter of the goldsmith Veit
Pogner, sung by Matthias Hölle. The cast also includes Endrik Wottrich as
David, Birgitta Svendén as Magdalene, Andreas Schmidt as Beckmesser,
Bernhard Schneider, Roman Trekel, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, Torsten Kerl,
Peter Maus, Helmut Pampuch, Sándor Sólyom-Nagy, Alfred Reiter, Jyrki
Korhonen as the Mastersingers and Kwangchul Youn as the night watchman.
Prepared by Norbert Balatsch, the chorus of the Bayreuth Festival once
again masters the exceptionally demanding choral part of this opera, which
reaches a climax of intricacy at the end of the second act and culminates
in the grand finale of Act III.