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Der Ring des Nibelungen - widescreen [Blu-ray] [2013]

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

Price: £36.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Format: Classical
  • Subtitles: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: CLASSICAL
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Mar. 2013
  • Run Time: 917 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BA7YZVM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,058 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is not going to be a long review - another reviewer has referred to the long and informative reviews of the 2007 incarnation of this recording, which I read myself and found very helpful. I hovered for some time between this recording and the alternatives from New York and Copenhagen, and have no regrets from choosing this one.

I've got as far as the second act of Siegfried and the performances of the main actors range from good to excellent. John Tomlinson's Wotan has been universally praised and I see why, but I was also very impressed by Graham Clark as a wonderfully camp Loge in Rheingold and a scheming, snivelling yet almost likeable Mime in Siegfried. Incidentally, how nice to see Brits doing so well in some of the major parts - Tomlinson and Anne Evans in the final act of Walkure bring tears to the eyes.

I like the way the production and scenery keep the actors moving around, left, right, up and down. This is not a Ring where the actors just stand and sing at each other, and they're all the better for it. The more fantastical events, eg the Ride of the Valkyries, Siegfried fighting the dragon Fafner, are no more believable than in other productions, but without CGI how can they be? This Ring dates from 1991-92, and even today, how do you combine CGI with live people on a stage?

I must also mention the Bayreuth orchestra, in the capable hands of Daniel Barenboim. It's just there, supporting the actors, propelling the action, just as Wagner intended. One hardly ever notices the tempi, so they must be about right. I did think the first few exchanges between Siegmund and Sieglinde were a bit on the slow side, but that could just be me.

Finally, at £45 this set is on offer at a third of the 2007 price. Snap it up while it's still available!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had the Levine set on DVD and Solti on CD. I risked this Dvd because I could get it for £18,50 and it thrilled me more than either of the aforementioned. The stereo sound through my CD's DAC and amplifier is beautiful, without the accustomed CD edge and the 'covered' Bayreuth sound is well caught. OK Solti can be more exciting at times with the VPO well to the fore, but this new version just lets you enjoy the music without thinking about the hi fi qualities. I find the staging overall preferable to Levine's version, where realism is taken to its nth degree and just occasionally makes me laugh. In the Barenboim/Kupfer recording it is the acting which comes across and the imagination is not so patronised as in the Levine/Schenk. Pthers mention a problem with the sound in Siefried but I didn't notice it. The booklet refers to camera problems in Rheingold but again I was not aware of them. What put me off buying this set earlier (apart from the previous cost) was that I received the impression it was all staged with lasers and nothing else. This isn't so. The Rhine is realised, quite effectively, with lasers but elsewhere and in Siegfried especially, the sets are amazing. In conclusion, if you are tempted, buy it! Whether the blu-ray sounds any better, I don't know. I watch it on a small tv anyway, as it is the sound and the libretto I especially want, and I had no problems with the visual side of it. Overall, it was like coming to it anew, and the cast were splendid.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This review is an update to the earlier summary review supplied for the DVD box set. I now have received the Blu-ray upgrade and it has fulfilled all my hopes for a markedly enhanced experience. The performances remain the same of course so much of what follows applies to both the DVD and the Blu-ray issues. Nevertheless it must be stressed at the outset that all the usual advantages of Blu-ray are readily to be enjoyed with this latest version of the recording. Those interested in the upgrade may purchase it without fear of disappointment.

The biggest surprise for me when first experiencing this set of the Ring was the effect of considerable movement - much of it fast and urgent. This is a concept far from the old style of `stand and deliver' and it achieves a considerable accumulative effect when followed through the whole set of four operas. For the purposes of this review I will restrict myself to considering the broad issues relating to this set. More specific comments can be found under the individual issues which can still be bought separately on DVD.

Quick movement is important to this production as mentioned above. Considerable use is made of the vast stage at Bayreuth so that the settings can be built on an appropriately huge scale and so that characters can move rapidly around unfettered by limitations of space. This enables this entire production to differ fundamentally from many other conceptions that are more constrained by spatial considerations and which frequently have far less urgent movement and which have to rely upon other means to achieve their purpose.

Quite apart from the purely musical considerations, this set makes extensive use of laser technology.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This review is addressed to those who, like me, are not familiar with The Ring Cycle. Listen to it while reading the libretto is hard work and imagining the scenes/ry is harder still. So buying a DVD is an excellent way to get to grips with this enormous, dense and wondrous opera especially as it is the same cast conducted by Barenboim that recorded one of the most well-received CD sets. The sets are amazing (I don't know why some feel they are dated), the photography with suitable close-ups and wider shots enhances the drama and I have no problem with the quality of picture or sound. At the price it is an outstanding bargain and not to be missed.
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