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Die Meistersinger was recorded in June 2011. Overall, Janowski’s performance is fast and light on its feet, though there are occasional suggestions of sliding over detail; yet he observes a fine balance, and the sound picture is clearer than in Holländer or Lohengrin. The cast is also more consistent. Here Smith holds his own as Walther, one of Wagner’s most taxing tenor assignments; even if his tone has lost some of its youthful buoyancy, he withstands the end-of-evening Prize Song more than creditably. He is gracefully partnered by Edith Haller’s bright-toned Eva. Albert Dohmen offers a Sachs of maturity and wisdom. Dietrich Henschel resists the temptation to parody Beckmesser unmercifully, retaining dignity throughout. Georg Zeppenfeld is an unusually ebullient Pogner, Peter Sonn a vivacious David, Michelle Breedt a warm-hearted Magdalene.

George Hall Read the full review on Agora Classica


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