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With his Act 3 monologue, Jerusalem crowns an impressive performance. Returning apparently renewed and not sounding tired he delivers a wonderfully balanced, dramatic performance; displaying a consistency of vocalism which is one of the highlights of his performance in this long role [listen -- CD14 track 13, 1:55-3:08].

It is in her closing scene that Anne Evans' careful approach to Brünnhilde pays off: she delivers the Immolation Scene with a power and beauty of tone which is truly impressive in this long, tiring role. For once, Barenboim seems to be sympathetic to his heroine's needs; she easily dominates the orchestra in upper registers and only occasionally seems swamped when the part goes low [listen -- CD14 track 19, 0:22-2:02]. Given her performance in the rest of the opera, Evans' Immolation scene was never going to be incandescent with passion, but in her own terms it works very well, and in the closing pages she and Barenboim just manage to deliver the sense of overwhelming passion needed.

And, of course, once Brünnhilde is off the scene, Barenboim and his orchestra deliver a powerful and moving account of the glorious closing pages, something that is well worth waiting for.

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Copyright © 9 August 2005 Robert Hugill, London UK

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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Götterdämmerung

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)

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ROBERT ANDERSON REVIEWS HARRY KUPFER'S BARCELONA PRODUCTION

THE BAYREUTH FESTIVAL

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