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Gotterdammerung - Last Of The Ring Cycle From Valencia


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#1 Tassie Devil

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:13 PM

What with our absence for almost a month up exploring the Kimberley and our friends being away it has taken 2 months to get to this. So here is the appraisal:

COMPOSER: Wagner

Disc Title: Gotterdammerung

Disc catalog: Unitel Classica 701204 Recording Date: 2008/5 Program Length: 280 + 27 mins extras mins (not looked at yet) A live Valenciana Opera house Production

Cast: Siegfried: Lance Ryan, Gunther: Ralf Lukas, Alberich: Franz-Josef Kapellmann, Hagen: Matti Salminen, Brünnhilde: Jennifer Wilson, Gutrune: Elisabete Matos, Waltraute: Catherine Wyn-Rogers, 1. Norn: Daniela Denschlag, 2. Norn: Pilar Vásquez, 3. Norn: Eugenia Bethencourt, Woglinde: Silvia Vásquez, Wellgunde: Ann-Katrin Naidu, Floßhilde: Marina Prudenskaya, Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, Zubin Mehta, conductor.

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

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Summary comment: Another dazzling production - but VERY long

Author: Tassie Devil Date: July 13 2010

Detailed Comment: Some have criticised Mehta for lack of energy in conducting Wagner. That might apply to Siegfried but not to this performance. Ralf Ryan in the role of Gunther is particularly impressive and while Jennifer Wilson might not pass on the svelte stakes wearing her enormous breast plate, her singing is superb and soon counteracts any negative visual image. And the dramatic backstage projections continue here, some of which, with the unique staging remained a mystery to us, but come together, particularly in the final scenes, to bring the Ring Cycle to a tremendous climax. And mention must again be made of the three Rhine maidens who so skillfully dive in and out of water to sing in unism. It makes Olymic synchronised swimming pale in comparison!
But yes, it IS a very long opera with quite a few flat dramatic spots and did leave us with the feeling that it would be awhile before we want to revisit the Ring again. However the Ring a unique composition with its clever leitmotifs woven so brilliantly throughout the 4 operas and this makes the complex plot of Gotterdammerung easier to follow, although some of it still remains a mystery.
So fully appreciating is not always an easy proposition and there is a vast library of books giving interpretations to the Ring. But at a basic music level it can be a very rewarding experience and the Valencia production has all the hallmarks of becoming a classic.
Thoroughly recommended.

Edited by Tassie Devil, 13 July 2010 - 12:25 PM.


#2 Mr_Gimlet

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:55 PM

I'm still at Die Walkure. Rather ironically, mrs_g is in Walhalla this week...

#3 Tassie Devil

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:59 PM

I'm still at Die Walkure. Rather ironically, mrs_g is in Walhalla this week...

Hopefully not trying to con Siegfied to part with the ring :unsure: - hopefully you realise what the curse would do to her and possibly you?

John

#4 pietro

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:19 AM

I still haven't got round to the last one either. I am intending to start about 4.30pm and have a meal break as they do in the theatre. It will still be a long night but I'm sure it will be well worth it, especially as I have upgraded my PC and bought a new Denon 2310 to get the HD audio.

Incidentally if you want a bit of glorious fun with fantastic PQ, SQ and costumes, checkout the ballet BD of The Pharoah's Daughter. Nothing to do with Wagner though about the same era.

#5 Tassie Devil

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:09 AM

I still haven't got round to the last one either. I am intending to start about 4.30pm and have a meal break as they do in the theatre. It will still be a long night but I'm sure it will be well worth it, especially as I have upgraded my PC and bought a new Denon 2310 to get the HD audio.

Incidentally if you want a bit of glorious fun with fantastic PQ, SQ and costumes, checkout the ballet BD of The Pharoah's Daughter. Nothing to do with Wagner though about the same era.

The Pharoas Daughter arrived the other day (the disc that is, not the gal :D ) but I've not got around to viewing it yet but your post inspires me to perform digital extraction to do so!

John