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Der Ring des Nibelungen - widescreen [Blu-ray] 
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
PRODUCT WARNING: I'm afraid that I have been unable to play this set because when I try to, a message comes up which says "Incompatible TV system setting! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Peter Scott-presland
Good production and singing but not quite inspiring!. Go for the blu-ray version with the technical OTT'ness' that makes it magical!Published 3 months ago by Michael
I was really excited to be able to find this Kupfer/Barenboim version at a reasonable price. It's a production I've wanted to watch for some time. Read morePublished 5 months ago by ziggy_fan
Snap up this brilliant bargain! Although they are NTSC, these discs will play on any fairly modern dvd player - and what an involving and satisfying cycle it is: brilliantly... Read morePublished 6 months ago by paul twambley
This DVD set is outstanding value at less than £19. I have not watched it all yet, but so far have been very impressed. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Harriet BlueStocking
The Rheingold disc has a annoying sustaining noise on the side, and the Siegried/Walküre discs were switched...at least I had a Siegfried... Read morePublished 10 months ago by R. A. M. Prejean
This box set consists of four blu-ray disks labelled as 'Das Rheingold', 'Die Walkure', 'Siegfried' and 'Gotterdammerung'. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Frank