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<<  -- 4 --  Robert Hugill    STUNNING LIGHTING

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Regarding the CD recording, this would not be my perfectly ideal Ring, but then which one would? This set is highly recommended for anyone wanting a set recorded in stunning modern sound. The performance of Barenboim and the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra is second to none. Barenboim's way with the orchestral textures of Wagner's music is a revelation, and his approach reveals hidden gems and provides a wonderful richness. The drawback is that he does not always seem to have a care for his singers.

All the roles are creditably sung and there are some outstanding performances. The three singers who might affect your choice are John Tomlinson, Siegfried Jerusalem and Anne Evans. Tomlinson delivers a towering performance which threatens to knock other singers off the stage, but not everyone warms to his distinctive voice and there is a definite feeling of effort in the upper reaches of Wotan's role. Jerusalem's Siegfried might not be the most sophisticated on disc, but it has the admirable virtues of consistency of delivery; something that is difficult to achieve in this tiring role.

Where I fall down is with Evans' Brünnhilde; I can appreciate the beauties of her voice, her lovely, unforced phrasing, but I miss the sheer passion and gleaming ability to dominate the orchestra which other major Brünnhildes bring to this opera.

So the choice is yours; if you can appreciate Anne Evans then this is the set for you. If you can't, then consider it anyway if you want a set recorded with stunning orchestral sound [listen -- CD14 track 24, 2:02-3:21].

Copyright © 10 August 2005 Robert Hugill, London UK

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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

2564 62091-2 DDD Stereo REISSUE (14 CDs) 74'51"/ 74'18"/ 65'54"/ 49'13"/ 45'09"/ 75'52"/ 77'44"/ 42'54"/ 51'08"/ 68'23"/ 54'03"/ 69'45"/ 66'29"/ 76'56"/ 59'00" - TT 15h51'39" 1993,1994 Teldec Classics, 2005 Warner Classics

John Tomlinson, Wotan; Bodo Brinkmann, Donner; Kurt Schreibmayer, Froh; Graham Clark, Loge; Linda Finnie, Fricka; Eva Johansson, Freia; Birgitta Svendén, Erda; Günter von Kannen, Alberich; Helmut Pampuch, Mime; Matthias Hölle, Fasolt; Philip Kang, Fafner; Hilde Leidland, Woglinde; Annette Küttenbaum, Wellgunde; Jane Turner, Flosshilde; Poul Elming, Siegmund; Matthias Hölle, Hunding; Nadine Secunde, Sieglinde; Anne Evans, Brünnhilde; Linda Finnie, Siegrune; Eva Johansson, Gerhilde; Ruth Floeren, Ortlinde; Shirley Close, Waltraute; Hitomi Katagiri, Schwertleite; Eva-Maria Bundschuh, Helmwige; Birgitta Svendén, Grimgerde; Hebe Dijkstra, Rossweisse; Siegfried Jerusalem, Siegfried; Graham Clark, Mime; John Tomlinson, Der Wanderer; Hilde Leidland, Waldvogel; Bodo Brinkmann, Gunther; Philip Kang, Hagen; Eva-Maria Bundschuh, Gutrune; Waltraud Meier, Waltraute; Birgitta Svendén, Erste Norn; Linda Finnie, Zweite Norn; Uta Priew, Dritte Norn; Hilde Leidland, Woglinde; Annette Küttenbaum, Wellgunde; Jane Turner, Flosshilde; Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele; Daniel Barenboim, conductor

Richard Wagner (1813-1883): Das Rheingold (1876); Die Walküre (1851-6); Siegfried (1851-71); Götterdämmerung (1848-74)

BUY THIS 14 CD SET ONLINE

READ FROM THE START OF THE SERIES

ROBERT ANDERSON REVIEWS HARRY KUPFER'S BARCELONA PRODUCTION

THE BAYREUTH FESTIVAL

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