When Chereau's production of this Ring was first seen, and Boulez's conducting first heard, there were howls of abuse in all directions. But sober reflection, as it so often does, mitigates some of the more extreme reactions of that time: the fact is that this is a marvellous Ring Cycle, superbly and luminously played, sung, and recorded. I found no problem with either the sound or the vision of my set: indeed although I don't have 5.1 sound, I do have the original CD sets of all the operas and it seems to me that the DVD sound here is now more spacious, even on normal stereo playback. McIntyre is a tower of strength, as he was at Covent Garden at the time; Jones is superb, not wobbly at all, and acts gloriously and looks stunning. In fact, there is hardly a weak link anywhere in the cast: perhaps Manfred Jung as Siegfried is a bit wooden and tends to look at the conductor a little too often, but so what! Hanna Schwarz remains not only one of the most gorgeous of all Wagnerian singers but the finest Fricka of them all; Becht is a superb Alberich and his curse in Rheingold is truly shattering. Loge and Mime are also fine and the giants very convincing - even to look at! Die Walkure is immensely moving and the murder of Siegmund truly barbaric. Compared to some of the more excruciating productions that have been mounted since this one, one thinks of the Lowry/Jones ROH, or the current ENO to name but two, or the rather odd Dresden production where the stage is, for some reason, covered in rows of dining chairs for the entire cycle, Chereau's is a model of creativity and restraint - even if his thinly disguised French style of Marxism shows through at the end of Gotterdammerung. One wonders now, however, what all the fuss was about. Only Kupfer, of recent producers, has come close to presenting such a coherent and exciting view of the Ring: not at Bayreuth but in Berlin, with Barenboim.