Thursday, 17 June 2010

It's the Final Countdown! Meistertunes Act III

I'm back to where I began with my first choice for the third, and final act with a prelude. Unlike the first this isn't a sock it to your ears number, but an introspective Sachscentric one. There are hints at brightness, but at the moment Sachs is mired in his musings. Karajan and the Dresden Staatskapelle are the folks on stage for this.

Prelude Act III

Picking up from the melancholy of the Prelude Sachs is dumbfounded by the idiocy of people with a capital P and how self destructive madness lies within everyone. Even in his hometown. But don't fret – Sachs isn't throwing the towel in...Theo Adam is doing the musing.

Wahn! Wahn! Überall Wahn!

Of course, Sachs should really think through his intentions more clearly. No sooner than Walther and Eva have signed up for The Love Boat than he's having a right old strop. Eva calms Sachs by thanking him for all he's done for her, and he admits that his game is up. Grumbling for your pleasure is Theo Adam, and becalming (with quite a bit of passion it has to be said) is Gwyneth Jones as Eva from a live Bayreuth performance.

Hat man mit dem Schuhwerk nicht seine Not! … O Sachs! Mein Freund! Du teurer Mann!

Do I need to say anything about this next selection apart from sublime? Helen Donath (Eva), Theo Adam (Sachs), Rene Kollo (Walther), Peter Schreier (David) and Ruth Hesse (Magdelene) puncture Wahn's bubble for a while.

Selig, wie die Sonne

Grab your hankies – it's time for Walther to sing his song. And if you aren't humming this on the way out then you'd better check to see if some of Nürnberg's pixies haven't upped your grumpiness levels. Ben Heppner is doing the biz.

Morgendlich leuchtend im rosigen Schein

And so, we reach the end. After a few hours of pretty damned good music it would have been a shame if Wagner did a Don Giovanni on us and left a mishmash of an ending – but thankfully he didn't. Allowing Sachs to have his say on the importance of art and culture to people he finishes with all and sundry on stage giving it their all like Guitar Heroes. Get ready for the umpteenth raising of hair!

Verachtet mir die Meister nicht

And that's all folks! You can find the Karajan recording at Amazon US, the live Bayreuth here and Ben Heppner's Met DVD here.

I'll leave you with a fine cheese, but also a good thickness of hair. Not sure if this will be playing backstage before the curtain goes up on Saturday - but you never know...

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