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Captured live at a concert given in June 2011 in the Berlin Philharmonie, this is a greatly enjoyable performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. It has superb balance and sound, and Janowski sets a good pace, and builds his interpretation with skill; there is something perhaps rather over-controlled about proceedings, but perhaps that’s the result of a one-off chance to get everything right. The Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Rundfunkchor Berlin are both major assets, as is a strong cast. Albert Dohmen is an unflagging and serious Sachs – I like his rather dry voice but admit it’s not for everyone. Likewise, as Eva I enjoy Edith Haller’s rather ‘straight’ blanched tone, but some might prefer something more rounded. Robert Dean Smith sustains his role well, but Walther’s punishing tessitura is now starting to tell. Dietrich Henschel’s Beckmesser avoids guying the part, though ends up sounding weaker on disc than in the theatre. Georg Zeppenfeld rolls along refulgently as Pogner, Peter Sonn is an excellent David, and Matti Salminen a luxurious Night-watchman.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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