WORKS: Excerpts from Der fliegende Holländer, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tannhäuser, Parsifal & Die Walküre
PERFORMER: Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone); Berlin PO/Claudio Abbado
CATALOGUE NO: 471 348-2
The tantalising prospect of Bryn Terfel singing Wagner has been held out for some years. So far we’ve had only a glimpse of the possibilities (extracts from Der fliegende Holländer and Tannhäuser on a DG disc with Levine, plus the Herald in Colin Davis’s Lohengrin). But with his Wotan in the next Covent Garden Ring (2005) now announced, as well as a Hans Sachs in a forthcoming Meistersinger under Thielemann for DG, Terfel is limbering up on the sideline.
This disc is only of extracts, but already it is clear that Terfel is going to be the outstanding Wagnerian bass-baritone of his generation. His tone colour is rich and full in the best tradition, his declamation vivid and lively. The two great monologues of Hans Sachs are delivered with an insight and maturity that bode well for the DG Meistersinger, while Wolfram’s ‘O Star of Eve’ similarly demonstrates this singer’s lyrical potential. Wotan’s Farewell from Die Walküre and the Dutchman’s Monologue find him equally secure and thrilling in heroic mode, with a tormented Amfortas thrown in for good measure. Suddenly the future looks brighter.