Wagner, Der fliegende Holländer (excerpts) / P.-L. Dietsch, Le vaisseau fantôme, ou le maudit des mers, Les Musiciens du Louvre--Grenoble, Eesti Filarmoonia Kammerkoor, M. Minkowski
(released on November 19, 2013)
Naïve V 5349 | 4 CDs
The original Paris version of Der fliegende Holländer, from 1841 and in one act, is preserved in the so-called Meudon score, named for the suburb of Paris where Wagner wrote this first version. It has been recorded before and is a valuable document in terms of understanding how Wagner became Wagner. Evgeny Nikitin is a fine Dutchman, at the top of a generally fine cast. Alexander Dratwicki (of the Bru Zane Foundation) has made a new edition of the score of Le vaisseau fantôme, published in conjunction with the Wagner anniversary and used here. Musically, it does not hold a candle to Wagner's version of the story, either the first draft or the later revision, but it has some interesting moments, like the harps in the orchestra in the music for the doomed sailor's redemption. The story is also quite different, with Dietsch's Minna pledged in marriage by her father, a merchant named Barlow in Shetland, to the cursed seaman, Troile, because he owes him his life. Her childhood sweetheart, Magnus, pledges himself to the priesthood instead, even offering to officiate at Minna's marriage, but he recognizes Troile for who he really is, the murderer of his father. Troile calls demonic forces to help him escape, but Minna sacrifices herself for him, guiding him before God's throne in the final scene.