WORKS: Scenes from Siegfried & Götterdämmerung
PERFORMER: Plácido Domingo, Violeta Urmana; ROHOrchestra/Antonio Pappano
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 5 57242 2
The role of Siegfried can be impossibly tiring in the theatre, but on disc Domingo sounds full of energy and credibly youthful – an extraordinary achievement for a singer in his sixties. The top As in his Forging Song ring out heroically and he partners Violeta Urmana both powerfully and lyrically in the duet from Götterdämmerung.
The scene under the lime tree from Siegfried Act II allows us to enjoy both Domingo in more relaxed mode and Pappano, whose handling of the orchestral textures of the ‘Forest Murmurs’ is characteristically sensitive. Notable too is Pappano’s ability to achieve a translucent glow in passages such as the dying Siegfried’s final apostrophe to Brünnhilde (Götterdämmerung, Act III, Scene 2) and in the effulgence of daybreak earlier in the same opera. The Rhine Journey has a thrilling sweep and Siegfried’s Funeral March a magnificently noble tread. The omens for Pappano’s first Ring, announced for Covent Garden in 2005, are good. Barry Millington