Wagner Siegfried – Der Friedensengel – Living Stage

Covers + lossless, Not my Rip

The opera provides a superb vehicle for Hanne-Lore Kuhse, one of the great singers of her day, and can be recommended on that point alone. But, what of Siegfried Wagner’s music? His debt to Humperdinck is apparent in all his operas, as is the occasional nod to Meyerbeer (e.g. the oath-taking in “Der Schmied von Marienburg” might recall for some the “benediction of the swords” from “Les Huguenots” in dramatic intent, if not musical substance.) He shows a complete mastery of his father’s technique, in terms of orchestral sound and motivic transformation (particularly in the remarkable preludes and overtures.) He lacks not his father’s talent, but his intensity. While his oeuvre boasts no such dramatic icons as Brunnhilde or Isolde, Siegfried nonetheless crafts scenes of extraordinary power and sensitivity for his heroines – (notably, Friedelind in “Der Schmied von Marienburg” and Mita in “Der Friedensengel”), though here, as elsewhere in Siegfried’s music, it’s a gentle passion which generally resolves itself in a soft, preternatural glow (see also, the finales of act 2(“Bruder Lustig”) and acts 1 & 3 of “Sonnenflammen.” I’d go so far as to say, the two scenes for Mita and Friedelind, both approximately 20 minutes in length, offer the lead soprano (paging Renee Fleming, or Helen Donath!) music of more beauty and complexity than any comparable pages in “Meistersinger” or “Parsifal” – and less strenuous and more heartfelt than most Strauss, post-Ariadne. (I’ll make an exception for the final scene from “Capriccio”)
This recording of “Der Friedensengel” (from 1975) is a historic document – the first performance of an opera by Siegfried Wagner in over 30 years; also included is a recital of Siegfried’s songs, superlatively done by Ms. Kuhse – best of all, the delightful “Ballad of Johnny Cake.”
Other operas by Siegfried Wagner, recommended if you can find them: “Der Kobold” (London – Hanne-Lore Kuhse; Monica Sinclair); “Herzog Wildfang” (Munich-Anton De Ridder)- both available from private sources; from Marco Polo recordings – “Der Schmied von Marienburg” and “Bruder Lustig;”
also, an excellent orchestral disc from Dmitri Kitajenko and the Frankfurt Symphony, featuring selections from “Sonnenflammen,” “Bruder Lustig” and the symphonic poem “Gluck.”

Der Friedensengel, Op. 10 by Siegfried Wagner
Performer: David Bacon (Tenor), Valerie Morgan (), Vivienne Bellos (Soprano),
Martha Mödl (Mezzo Soprano), Hanne-Lore Kuhse (Soprano), Raimund Herincx (Bass),
Christopher Adams (Bass), Franklyn Whiteley (Bass), Raffaele Polani (Tenor),
Valerie Hill (Soprano), Alain Judd (), John Foster ()
Conductor: Leslie Head
Orchestra/Ensemble: Pro Opera Orchestra, Pro Opera Chorus
Period: 20th Century
Written: Germany
Date of Recording: 11/23/1975
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, England
Notes: Composition written: Germany (1913 – 1914).