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Richard Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen [DVD] [2007]

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Product details

  • Actors: John Tomlinson, Graham Clark, Gunther von Kannen, Linda Finnie, Poul Elming
  • Directors: Harry Kupfer, Daniel Barenboim, Bodo Brinkmann
  • Format: Box set, NTSC
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Warner Music Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 2 July 2007
  • Run Time: 917 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QFBW6K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,987 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


The four operas from 'The Ring' by Richard Wagner, 'Das Rheingold', 'Die Walkure', 'Siegfried' and 'Gotterdammerung', recorded live at the Bayreuther Festspiele, with Daniel Barenboim conducting.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Mar 2009
These DVD productions of Wagner's Ring cycle, under Daniel Barenboim at Bayreuth, are absolutely awesome. I have reorganised my living room in order to optimally hook up my TV to my best hi-fi. I have just finished Walkure, and I have damp eyes, and there are still chills running up and down my spine. You care so much for these performers, even the villains. Everyone is trapped inside situations of their own making, but which were not foreseen, and you feel for all of them.

My initial connection to the Ring has been via the mighty Solti box-set .Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen. Whilst very much admiring the music I found the text a bit perplexing. These characters did not seem to make much sense to me, particularly morally. Everyone, even the supposed heroes seemed very flawed. Lying and conniving to coerce and entrap each other. Later on I got to see live performances by the ENO at the Coliseum, with text in English. This acquainted me with the visual spectacle of the cycle, but still found the characters unconvincing. In an effort to gain some comprehension of the text I read G.B.Shaw's The Perfect Wagnerite, which attempts to interpret the Ring as a quasi-political allegory of the Industrial Revolution and Marxism, but then could only be made sense of on the premise that Wagner switched sides from the plebs to toffs in time for Gotterdamerung. I found this interpretation even less convincing.
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80 of 81 people found the following review helpful By John DeWald on 30 Dec 2007
Creating a filmed version of a work that was intended to be experienced in the theatre is never an easy task, and even the best recordings often disappoint on at least some (even if nonessential) levels. This recording of the 1991 and 1992 Kupfer and Barenboim Ring Cycle is, without a doubt, among the best recorded versions of an opera I have ever seen, and one of the undisputed highlights of my dvd collection. Whether because of the wonderful cast, superb orchestra and conducting, or (largely, if not always) enlightening design and direction, this production simply works. Despite being rather a traditionalist myself, I found the design of this production to be mostly remarkable, visually arresting and intellectually stimulating more often than not. The costumes and staging have a distinctly modern, largely minimalist feel, yet they nevertheless manage by and large to do justice to the sense of timelessness that keeps Wagner's masterpiece relevant almost 150 years after it was first performed. There is enough of tradition here to retain the sense of historicity that should be a fundamental part of any good Ring Cycle, respecting its foundation in ancient myth as well as looking simultaneously to the future. Having said that, there are moments when the production looks to the future in ways that I don't find particularly enlightening. The whole post-nuclear destruction premise jars in my opinion with what the focus of the Ring ought to be, and the interjection in the final minute of what is purely the director's fancy is in my view completely wrongheaded and distracting.Read more ›
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By G. F. L. Brown on 7 Mar 2008
I saw this production first on VHS Video - and still have all of them. I enjoyed it then, but spent most of the time looking at the translation and synopsis which came with it. I them saw it on television and was glued to it. I now have it on DVD - this version - and there is only one word I can say about it - wow! It is a mixture of modern with traditional and it works really well. It is very atmospheric and full marks go to the lighting and stage technicians. The use of lasers and smoke in 'Das Rheingold' were stunning to say the least. The depth of the acting and music was also outstanding. Although it has a modern flavour, it is easy to determine who is who. (Dare I say it - but this version is better than the recent version by the Royal Opera House!) There is even a (subtle) bit of humour with the charater Mime in Siegfried. That character comes to life as the sleazy, snivelling and scheming dwarf. All in all, this is one version I will watch again and with on-screen subtitles available, it is very easy to follow and understand. The DVD quality is excellent and they have managed to squeeze it into seven DVD's without any reduction of the quality. Even if you have never watched anything like this on such a scale, I would recommend that you do. I find that 5.5 surround sound works best and a large screen. (computer or television) Ignore the time it takes to view... just sit back and watch. It will make you gasp, chuckle from time to time, and there will be times when you feel the very hairs on your neck rise. Everyone plays their own character with great feeling. This is one any fan of opera will love to watch... and perhaps others will watch with you as they become caught up in it. AS mentioned, this is the finest (modern) version I have viewed. I hope you feel the same way.
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