Wagner: Arias - Rutherford / Litton

Wagner: Arias - Rutherford / Litton


Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Opera

WAGNER, Richard (1813–83): Der fliegende Holländer (Ouvertüre & "Die Frist ist um"); Tannhäuser ("Blick ich umher" [Der Sängerkrieg] & "Wie Todesahnung Dämmrung deckt die Lande – O du mein holder Abendstern"); Lohengrin ("Du fürchterliches Weib! Telramund"); Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg ("Was duftet doch der Flieder" & Vorspiel zum III. Aufzug & "Wahn! Wahn! Überall Wahn!"); Parsifal ("Ja! Wehe! Wehe! Weh’ über mich!"); Die Walküre (Wotans Abschied und Feuerzauber: "Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind!")

James Rutherford (baritone)
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrew Litton (conductor)

From pillars of society to shunned outcasts, the baritone and bass-baritone roles in Richard Wagner’s operas span from Hans Sachs, shoemaker/poet and Nuremberg’s voice-of-reason, to the Flying Dutchman, tortured forever by past sins. Whether their function in the over-all drama is as a foil to the main character – like the knight Wolfram von Eschenbach, Tannhäuser’s eternally loyal supporter – or, like Wotan in the Ring, as a linchpin of the entire dramatic argument, they are all memorable as individuals, and have as such been endowed by their creator with music of great individuality and expressivity.

Following his acclaimed recital of English songs, Most Grand to Die (BIS-1610), James Rutherford now gives us a grand tour of Wagner-land, ranging from the three operas that ‘made’ Wagner – Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin – to Parsifal, the composer’s final work, described by himself as ‘the last card’ he had to play.

Winner of the first Seattle Opera International Wagner competition in 2006, Rutherford has since performed in a number of Wagner productions, and is something of the Hans Sachs of our day, having sung the part at the Bayreuth Festival (in 2010 and 2011), as well as at the Wiener Staatsoper, the Graz, Hamburg and Cologne Operas, the Budapest Wagner Festival and at the Glyndebourne Festival.

He here receives the support of Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under their music director Andrew Litton, himself a regular guest conductor at leading opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera Covent Garden and Deutsche Oper Berlin.

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PCM recording

Recorded April–May 2013 at the Grieg Hall, Bergen, Norway, 24/96

Recording producer: Robert Suff

Sound engineer: Thore Brinkmann (Take5 Music Production)

Recording equipment: Neumann microphones; RME Micstasy microphone pre-amplifier and high-resolution A/D converter; MADI optical cabling; Sequoia Workstation; Pyramix DSD Workstation (for SACD); B&W Nautilus 802 loudspeakers; STAX headphones

Post-production: Editing: Hans Kipfer (Take5 Music Production)
Mixing: Thore Brinkmann, Robert Suff

Executive producer: Robert Suff
Comments (1)

Comment by Amfortas - April 6, 2021 (1 of 1)

For those who would get tempted by the low price that this disc is now available - it's not worth it, not even for a couple of quid. Rutherford's voice is totally unsuitable for Wagner, with a big wobble that makes any sustained vocal line sounding like he is struggling for breath.