Friday, August 30, 2013

All Wagner Concert

Matti Salminen - Hunding
Eva-Maria Westbroek - Sieglinda
Peter Seiffert - Siegmund

Sometimes the stars align. Sometimes the musical phrasing is so strong that everyone is swept up in the experience. Sometimes perfection is achieved. Yesterday's concert was such a time. The Wiener Philharmoniker with Lorin Maazel was on the program.

I enjoyed the sweet playing of the Siegfried Idyll which began the concert, but it's not really one of my favorites. The joy for me came in the second half with a performance of Act I of Die Walküre.  I did not mind the absence of surtitles because by now I am very familiar with this act and recognize just enough German.

I saw Eva-Maria in this role in New York and San Francisco, but was unprepared for how truly wonderful she was here. The voice was big and glorious and for my ears ready to take on something more. She was the only one who did not use a score and attempted to act her part as she would on the stage.

Peter Seiffert, the true Heldentenor, perhaps the Heldentenor of our time, was completely on form. I saw him before in Tannhäuser in San Francisco, and he was very passionate and warm here.

Matti Salminen is a force of nature. He provided just the right amount of terror in the awkward situation that is the beginning of Walküre.

Such musical synchronicity among the three singers was met and exceeded by the synchronicity with this great orchestra and the musical leadership of Lorin Maazel. They started quietly and built steadily over the long act. Everyone was ready when the big finish came.

Great singing, great playing, great music. Keep your heart open and something wonderful will come your way.

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