2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS
Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer (Bayreuth Festival)
Samuel Youn (Der Holländer); Franz-Josef Selig (Daland ); Ricarda Merbeth (Senta ); Tomislav Mužek (Erik ); Christa Mayer (Mary ); Benjamin Bruns (Der Steuermann);
Last year’s revival of Jan Philipp Gloger’s controversial 2012 production was greeted (as so often in Bayreuth) with huge acclaim. He translates the tale of the Dutchman, whose travails can only be redeemed through the unconditional love of a woman (Senta), to a future time, where part-human/part-cyborgs grind out an existence in a world completely subservient to business and commerce. In the modern fan-making factory, which replaces the world of Senta and her fellow seamstresses, we see a final tableau in which the Dutchman’s and Senta’s heavenly union is ‘commemorated’ by the factory workers now producing souvenir statuettes of the couple. The production stars Samuel Youn, Ricarda Merbeth, and Franz-Josef Selig, and is conducted by Christian Thielemann, arguably the greatest Wagnerian conductor of today.
"... one revels in Christian Thielemann's masterly handling of the Overture's tempo modifications and, thereafter, the lustrous sonorities that support the singers in this single-act version of the opera... Youn is a particular revelation, with bass qualities to establish the character's emotional weight but also effective baritonal colours that convey anguish with great specificity." (Gramophone)
"Christian Thielemann, the festival’s de facto music director, drew pulsing, dynamic and transparent playing from the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. He clearly made careful decisions about when a burst of fleet notes in the strings should be executed with maximum clarity and when a surging passage should be milked for drama. Yet the result was music-making of overwhelming naturalness. The excellent Mr. Youn is a sympathetic and suffering Dutchman who sings with dignity touched with anguish. Ricarda Merbeth ... brings a big, penetrating voice to the role [of Senta] and plumbs the conflicts and passions of the character. The strong cast includes the powerful tenor Tomislav Muzek, as the humble Erik, who loves Senta hopelessly, and the appealing mezzo-soprano Christa Mayer, who sings Mary, supervises the working women and tries to talk some sense into Senta." (The New York Times)
"Christian Thielemann and das Festspielorchester received the biggest cheers, and rightly so: their account – thrillingly intense and demonic, while respecting of the sweeter passages – was superlative." (The Financial Times)