Album: Richard Wagner, Lohengrin – Bychkov/LDRSK, (Hanssler Profil)

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The Independent Culture

For those disinclined to spend an evening filtering out the BacoFoil breastplates of the Royal Opera House's latest revival of Lohengrin, this recording of Semyon Bychkov's slow-burning interpretation is a gift.

Even the most adipose Heldentenor can be an Adonis on disc, and Johan Botha's voice gleams like tempered steel in the title role. Petra Lang's scenery-chewing Ortrud aside, the cast sings intelligently and subtly, while the orchestral performance combines gravity, ethereality and immaculate chording.

Pick of the album: The dazzling 'Prelude and Wedding March' from Act III