This is the second Testament disc devoted to Wagner excerpts conducted by the mercurial André Cluytens. Having been weaned on recordings by Klemperer, Karajan and other Wagner stalwarts such as Solti, the magisterially direct Cluytens style came as a pleasant surprise for this listener.
The 'Siegfried Idyll' is beautifully paced throughout with some ravishing playing from the Paris Opera Orchestra especially in the opening section. I was also bowled over by the recording in 'Forest Murmurs' with the trademark French woodwinds making a delightful effect.
The 'Götterdämmerung' Funeral March and 'Siegfried's Rhine Journey' are similarly informed with greatness, not dissimilar from Klemperer's own magisterial recordings. It was also a treat to listen to Cluytens conducting the VPO in the Strauss tone poem, 'Don Juan', an exquisite rarity as is the 'Feursnot' excerpt.
The recordings have come up absolutely trumps in all departments and I have nothing but a strong and assured recommendation for this disc.
Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech