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Wagner "die Walkure" (valenciana Production) - Stunning, A Masterpiece Of Artistry And Technology


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#1 Tassie Devil

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 11:42 AM

COMPOSER: Wagner

Disc Title: Die Walkure

Disc catalog: UNITEL CLASSICS 700804 Recording Date: 2007 Program Length: 245 + 27 mins extras mins A live Valenciana Opera house Production

Video rating: 5/5 Audio type: DTS HD MA 7.1, PCM Stereo No mention of bitrates Audio rating: 5/5

Overall rating: 5/5

Summary comment: A brilliant production - even better than Rheingold

Author: Tassie Devil Date: April 13 2010

Detailed Comment: Wow, what an evening of home entertainment!! Friends came over and being very tired, I was not really looking forward to a 4 hour Wagner opera. But that rapidly changed as we became immersed in this fabulous production. And yes, it is fabulous from all points of view, even better than Rheingold. The staging and special effects were mind boggling, the music itself sublime, the singing and acting sensational, the orchestra brilliant, all combining to keep us riveted to our seats. It was a cold night and I was so engrossed in the opera the fire went out!!!

Special mention needs to be made of the acting and singing of Juha Uusitalo in the role of Wotan. Few male singers move me but his performance was heart wrenching both in the scene where he was forced to decide to have his son Siegmund and daughter Sieglinde murdered and in the final scene with his other daughter Brunnhilde. The rest of the cast was not far behind as all sang and acted their roles passionately and convincingly. And that takes some doing in a storyline involving murder, incest, deception and adultery but fortunately set to glorious music which they all sang beautifully.

Unfortunately (for me) my wife dislikes traditional operas like Traviata, Aidia, La Boheme but she reveled in this Wagner production and loved every minute of it. This was after a bit of moaning at the start about having to sit through a 4 hour opera – she really was not looking forward to it. What better recommendation could a production get?

Yes there were a few odd moments where the symbolism of the scenery escaped us but overall it is one of the most memorable opera videos we have ever experienced. The video quality via Blu Ray was excellent and the audio of demonstration standards with solid deep bass, great dynamic range and first class clarity overall.

This disc should be in every opera lovers collection and might even convert a few others, like my wife, who are generally negative about the genre. If you do not have it yet, place an order NOW!!!

John

Edited by Tassie Devil, 18 May 2010 - 10:42 AM.


#2 Mr_Gimlet

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 01:22 PM

John's right, these are stunning discs - both the performance, the recording quality and the staging are superb. Normally you have to give up one or two - compare the soundtrack with, say, the Met Levine on normal DVD and it is a world apart. I felt as if I was sitting in the orchestra.

I like Loge with his shifty beard on his little scooter.

#3 pietro

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 08:39 AM

What a coincidence. I watched it last night and found it overwhelming. Maybe the production isn't for everyone but I felt that Wagner would have loved it. I especially liked the end of the second act when the strange metal "junkyard" opened up to be the dead heroes and their coffins. (well that was my interpretation of it)

The standard of singing is as good as it gets these days, and even though it's not the world's best orchestra, Zubin Mehta is one of the best conductors and got a superb performance from them.

This is easily the pick of the 3 of watched so far, only Gotterdammerung to go. As was said in the documentary...a Ring for the 21st century.

#4 MichaelCPE

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 08:47 AM

I just ordered the four Ring operas from Amazon UK.

The Wagner was a treat to make the package bigger for cheaper shipping per disc. Now I can get the Lord of the Rings movies for just less than A$16 each!

Reading this thread (the morning after my order), I was naturally keen to know if I had just ordered this version, or if you were all praising another version.

It actually took me about ten minutes of searching Amazon before I could tell that the above is about the disc I ordered!

For those searching on Amazon.uk, this set of operas is the one with Staged By La Fura Dels Baus in the Amazon title.

I certain hope that I enjoy it as much as everyone else. Can't wait to get it.

#5 Tassie Devil

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:37 AM

I just ordered the four Ring operas from Amazon UK.

The Wagner was a treat to make the package bigger for cheaper shipping per disc. Now I can get the Lord of the Rings movies for just less than A$16 each!

Reading this thread (the morning after my order), I was naturally keen to know if I had just ordered this version, or if you were all praising another version.

It actually took me about ten minutes of searching Amazon before I could tell that the above is about the disc I ordered!

For those searching on Amazon.uk, this set of operas is the one with Staged By La Fura Dels Baus in the Amazon title.

I certain hope that I enjoy it as much as everyone else. Can't wait to get it.

I also have the other Blu Ray set but have not looked at it in detail yet. Reports suggest the one you bought and I wrote about is most definitely the best. The other set was hated by the BBC Music mag reviewer but loved by the Gramophone. I've not seen any negative comment on this Valenciana production.

One comment was the the Walkure is the best of the 4 but I've yet to determine that for myself.

There are some interesting essays on the Ring on the web:

http://home.earthlin...~dbscr/RING.HTM

http://www.sharp.art...Park_Wagner.htm

http://www.smallisbe.../hannum_92.html

I've put them into two WORD files and could email them to anyone who is intesested. Just drop me a note at j_coulsonATbigpond.com

John

#6 Mr_Gimlet

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 10:46 AM

Looking at the Fura website, I see they staged a Magic Flute - I hope it gets a release.