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Nina Stemme gives a full- blooded account of Wagner’s Wesdendonck-Lieder on this latest release in the ‘Opening Doors’ series from BIS, which features large-scale Romantic repertoire performed by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra under conductor Thomas Dausgaard. The mix has Stemme’s voice embedded nicely within the orchestral texture, neither too frontal nor risking being overpowered in the loudest tutti sections. The orchestral sound itself is extremely refined, if slightly underwhelming at moments of high drama, with the lack of true Wagnerian weight most noticeable in the strings. The more lightly orchestrated songs (‘Im Treibhaus’ and ‘Träume’) therefore work best as complete performances, managing to achieve the touching quality of intimacy that characterises their original piano versions, but Stemme’s singing is glorious throughout and the disc worth hearing for her alone. Other highlights of this all-Wagner offering include the Siegfried-Idyll, two versions of Der fliegende Holländer overture, and an energetic reading of the prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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