Surprisingly, Tennstedt took very much a safe-sex option through the frenzied pantings of Venusberg - the real satisfaction here was almost entirely post-coital. No such restraint in the overture to Rienzi, as one of the world's great tunes once more vied with some of Wagner's crassest hectoring. On the whole it was an evening of prime-cuts as opposed to bleeding chunks, though quite how a conductor of Tennstedt's sensitivities could bring himself to make the unkindest cut of all from the break of dawn to Siegfried's euphoric departure down the Rhine is beyond me.
He also missed a golden opportunity to segue directly into Siegfried's Funeral March, though of course this darkly eloquent, breast-beating music is right at the heart of everything he does best. The first trumpet's sword motif shone thrillingly here, horns and Wagner tubas excelled. After that, a handsomely upholstered Meistersinger overture, and a surprise - an honorary fly-past of the Valkyries.Reuse content