Wagner: Das Liebesverbot - Young, Castelo, Herincx, Gale, Caley; Downes. London, 1976
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Wagner wrote Das Liebesverbot when he was still in his early twenties, and like many learning experiences of ones early twenties, he made sure to deflect attention to the work throughout the rest of his life. Although Das Lieberverbot is not likely to make it anywhere near the standard repertory, it has some nice, if conventional, moments and more importantly it is an interesting forensic study into Wagner's early influences. If his next opera, Rienzi, seemed to have a heavy influence from Meyerbeer, Liebesverbot seems to pull from a collage of composers and styles. There are beautiful arias that seem right out of Bellini, ensembles that seem to owe much to Rossini and dramatic moments that are extremely derivative of Fidelio (an opera sighted by Wagner as being a pivotal influence in his early years.) There is even a motive that would later be recycled into Tannhäuser. This performance sports a solid cast of singers and is conducted by Edward Downes. The company does a very good job of showing the early promise of a composer who would go on to shatter the conventions that he once embraced wholeheartedly. The sound is very good.