Sunday, 13 June 2010

When Marty McFly met Marvin Berry...Meistersinger Act II Highlights


If you're familiar with DMvN you won't be very surprised to learn that the second act is my favourite of the three. From beginning to end it's nigh on seamless in its storytelling and music making, which makes picking out my favourite bits as easy as saying to Monica Bellucci , You have terrible hair and please stop calling me night and day to style it for you.

But it's a funny old world because I informed Monica Bellucci last week that she had terrible hair and to stop calling me to style it for her and as a result I've scratched my head, and my nose to come up with a few of my personal highlights.

Having entered his daughter as the main prize at the 3.40 at Kempton Veit Pogner begins to doubt his decision, but like any true leader he quickly indulges in a spot of self-persuasion that doubles as assurance for Eva that he's done the right thing. It may not be an obvious highlight, but in my (unweighty) opinion it's a snappy example of the mercurial nature of the score. Karl Ridderbusch is Pogner and Helen Donath is Eva.

Lass seh'n, ob Meister Sachs zu Haus

Still reeling after Walther's song Hans Sachs is tempted to briefly escape Meistersinging and hide away in cobbling for the rest of his life, but he regains his senses and comes to grip with the beautiful shock to his system. It's pretty much what happened when Marvin Berry met Marty McFly. Bryn Terfel, with Christian Thielemann, show us how it should be done.

Was duftet doch der Flieder

You just have to love Walther. He's a handsome dashing knight, with some serious family money, who has upped sticks to make a move on Nürnberg's hottest wench. Thinking on it, I don't like him. I mean he's a bit of a Freddy Krueger just waiting to happen in the next of my choices. Luckily there is some Robocop presence on the streets in the form of a Nightwatchman to quell Walther's unhinged rants. Gwyneth Jones is Eva to Waldemar Kmentt's Walther. Janis Martin is Magdalene and Kurt Moll as the Nightwatchman gets to sing possibly one of the most appealing cameo roles in opera in a gorgeous manner.

Da ist er! ...Geliebter, spare den Zorn!

For weeks I've had several chunks of Meistersinger rolling around in my head – and Jerum! Jerum! Hallo Hallohe! is without doubt the most tenacious of the lot. I'll now pass on this can't get it out of my head jingle to you. But just the one verse though. Theo Adam is Hans Sachs with Geraint Evans (Beckmesser), Helen Donath (Eva) and Rene Kollo (Walther) chipping in with their reactions to Sach's unsubtle commentary on current events.

Jerum! Jerum! Hallo Hallohe!

Beckmesser and Sachs (with the help of nearly the entire cast) bring to a close my selections for Act II. Apparently coming to a truce of sorts Sachs agrees to hear Beckmesser's song for the competition, with the proviso that he'll act as a cobbling marker. Hoping to snare his pray with his night time serenade Beckmesser agrees and subsequently a good old fashioned riot kicks off. Think of Paint Your Wagon and you'll have an idea of what I'm rambling about. Heading the bill are Geraint "Knuckles" Evans (Beckmesser) and Theo "The Terminator" Adam (Sachs).

Den Tag seh' ich erscheinen...Mit den Schuhen ward ich fertig schier!

The recordings are the same as last time - if you want to get hold of the ridiculously hard to find Karajan recording click here for Amazon USA. To catch Gwyneth Jones as Eva click here.

Time for clunkily inserted You Tube excursion with Marty McFly. And when I say clunky, I mean clunky...

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