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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent show
This very recent production (2004)of the Rheingold is truly a joy to behold. Voices may be a little underweight here and there and the orchestra isn't Bayreuth but the music is certainly enjoyable, the acting is first class, the sets and costumes are timelessly mythological (as opposed to "historical" or exagerratedly "symbolical" and the film quality is of course up to...
Published on 18 July 2008 by Walter Meersman

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11 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good performance, questionable technical production
I wish I could give two different ratings for this release because to award only 2 stars suggests that the performance, in strictly musical terms, deserves 2 stars. And that`s not the case, because it`s very good and I enjoyed it enormously. The staging`s not bad either. No, the reason for the 2-star review is because the performance is split across 2 discs - the...
Published on 8 Mar. 2005


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent show, 18 July 2008
By 
Walter Meersman (Antwerp, Flanders, Europe) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wagner: Das Rheingold [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This very recent production (2004)of the Rheingold is truly a joy to behold. Voices may be a little underweight here and there and the orchestra isn't Bayreuth but the music is certainly enjoyable, the acting is first class, the sets and costumes are timelessly mythological (as opposed to "historical" or exagerratedly "symbolical" and the film quality is of course up to present-day standards.
The visuals are to be preferred to Kupfer's earlier production at Bayreuth (1991). There are no real disappointments here and there is much to relish. No, perhaps there was one small disappointement: I felt Mime was overacting almost to parody, especially is in his dialogue with Loge. But there is so much more to be satisfied with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A REVIEWS ROUND-UP, 5 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Wagner: Das Rheingold [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Reviews
A RHEINGOLD TO RELISH - May the gods be praised: a DVD Rheingold that works
‘Here begins another Kupfer cycle, in an up-to-date recording from Barcelona. And the good news is that it’s the most recommendable Rheingold so far.
It is rightly attentive to the Ring’s mythological core. Its centrepiece, towering above a black mirrored stage surface, is the massive World-Ash tree, from which we see Wotan tearing his spear, and around whose roots the Rhinemaidens gambol and climb. The action moves up and down the trunk with the aid of the Liceu’s splendid new machinery (putting Covent Garden’s to shame). This manages to embody the world of the Ring in a form stylised but aymospheric.
Bertrand de Billy’s warm, slowish reading is likeable. Falk Struckmann’s Wotan has a strong-voiced, dynamic presence. Graham Clark’s Loge, is incisively sung.
Lioba Braun, Elisabete Matos and Andrea Bönig are worthy goddesses. Veteran Matthias Hölle and rising star Kwangchul Youn are excellent Giants, android-like figures more effective than Bayreuth’s de-humanised monstrous puppets. That goes, too for the romantic rather than tarty Rhinemaidens, particularly Cristina Obregón’s Woglinde.
We finally have a decent modern staging on DVD, recorded in vivid surround sound and clear vision. I greatly enjoyed this, and look forward to the rest of the cycle.’
The Gramophone

‘The opening instalment of Harry Kupfer’s Berlin Ring cycle (1996-99) is filmed here at the Liceu Theatre in Barcelona with Bertrand de Billy conducting. It’s a grand affair. The singing is good, and the orchestra plays with energy.’
Classic fM

‘The performance recorded here took place in Barcelona last June, but it is of the production which has been running for some years at Berlin’s Deutsche Staatsoper Unter den Linden.
The prelude to Rheingold starts, and we see the scene transformed into the depths of the Rhine, and in due course three exceptionally attractive Rhinemaidens gambolling. Both visually and aurally they are a delight, getting the cycle off to a buoyant start, suggesting the frivolous innocence of a pre-moral world.
Günter von Kannen…seems determined to present Alberich in the gentlest light, at least in this opening scene – and if it stops people from regarding him as the Ring’s villain, simply, that is all to the good. Von Kannen…in his cursing the Ring injects much vigorous venom. …take the very mannered Loge of Graham Clark. The Barcelona audience cheers him more loudly than anyone else. One hears how good a singing voice Clark has.
The chief of the gods is performed with immense insight by Falk Struckmann, who sounds fine here and creates an impressive persona. For once Wotan is allowed to be a god, even if he is headstrong, petulant, casual and duplicitous; and he is youthful, energetic, charged with libido.
Fricka is the unusually appealing Lioba Braun, who enjoys herself dressing Wotan down but is also flirtatious and teasing, and when they are discussing the decorative potential of the Ring they become, most welcomely, an amorous pair. The minor gods are good too, with Wolfgang Rauch an outstanding Donner, summoning the storm with rare authority. The giants are facially expressive.
De Billy’s conducting is reliable and occasionally more than that, detailed and with a good sense for building climaxes from a long way off. The orchestra doesn’t let things down. When the camera pans away we see how impressive the total stage picture is, with Kupfer always highly sensitive to the placing of every character in stage. I would say that this is the best small-screen realization of a Ring opera I have seen.’
International Record Review
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11 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good performance, questionable technical production, 8 Mar. 2005
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This review is from: Wagner: Das Rheingold [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I wish I could give two different ratings for this release because to award only 2 stars suggests that the performance, in strictly musical terms, deserves 2 stars. And that`s not the case, because it`s very good and I enjoyed it enormously. The staging`s not bad either. No, the reason for the 2-star review is because the performance is split across 2 discs - the break occurs at the start of the descent to Nibelheim. Apparently the necessity for 2 discs is because of the surround-sound audio content. Hmmm. I think it`s a great pity since it breaks the continuity of the performance.
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Wagner: Das Rheingold [DVD] [2005]
Wagner: Das Rheingold [DVD] [2005] by Falk Struckmann (DVD - 2005)
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