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Wagner: Ring Cycle (Der Ring Des Nibelungen) (Hartmut Haenchen ) (Opus Arte: OA1094BD) [DVD] [2013] [NTSC]

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: De Nederlandse Opera, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (Götterdämmerung & Die Walküre) The Hague Philharmonic (Das Rheingold), the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (Siegfried)
  • Format: Box set, Classical, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 11
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Feb. 2013
  • Run Time: 1008 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009RXGBPE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,878 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

This 1999 production of The Ring was the first to be based on the definitive complete edition of Wagner's music. Pierre Audi's production for the Netherlands Opera blends the lyrical, mythical and philosophical qualities of Wagner's tetralogy into a profound unity. Amazing sets by George Tsypin and wonderful costumes by Oscar-winning Eiko Ishioka complement singing and playing of great intensity from the cast under the baton of Hartmut Haenchen, who leads an unusually flowing, texturally sensitive interpretation, creating a vigorous yet often intimate impression that comes closer than many modern performances to the scale of Wagner's original conception.

Press Reviews

"A blend of transparent stage direction, powerful images and colourful orchestral playing. Perfect. (Die Walküre)" (Trouw, NL)
"Pierre Audi's Ring really shines! (Das Rheingold)" (Wagner Society)
"In the timeless archaic costumes by Eiko Ishioka most of the cast reach great heights, especially Wagner specialists like Reinhild Runkel and Graham Clark. Henk Smit is an Alberich with a lot of dramatic power. An exciting start to a Ring with which De Nederlandse Opera will draw international attention once again." (De Telegraaf - Rheingold)
"It is breathtaking to experience how well the technical and spatial possibilities of Het Muziektheater are being used; and even more overwhelming to see the focus on the individual in all this excitement. Het Muziektheater had a premiere without any equal..." (Het Financieële Dagblad - Die Walküre
)
"Hartmut Haenchen builds on the New Wagner Edition and the Orchestra in outstanding form: a leaner, more elegant and ever thundering Wagner sound makes this production a rich experience." (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Siegfried)
"Audi and designer George Tsypin work with a varying series of thrillingly lit (Wolfgang Goebbel) acting areas, Hartmut Haenchen's orchestra(s) constantly visible in a manner reminiscent of Baroque theatre." (Gramophone - Götterdämmerung)
Cast
John Bröcheler (Wotan)
John Keyes (Siegmund)
Nadine Secunde (Sieglinde)
Jeannine Altmeyer (Brünnhilde)
Heinz Kruse (Siegfried)
Henk Smet (Alberich)
Kurt Rydl (Hagen)
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (Götterdämmerung & Die Walküre), The Hague Philharmonic (Das Rheingold), The Hague Philharmonic (Das Rheingold); Hartmut Haenchen


Stage Director: Pierre Audi
Catalogue Number: OA1094BD
Running Time: 1008 minutes
Sound: LPCM Stereo & 5.1 DTS (except Der Fliegende Holländer: Dolby Digital 2.0 & 5.1 DTS)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic
Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, ES, NE (Der Fliegende Holländer); EN, FR, DE, ES, CA, IT (Der Ring Des Nibelungen); EN, FR, DE, ES, IT (Lohengrin); EN, FR, DE, ES, DA, CH (Tannhäuser); EN, FR, DE, ES, IT (Parsifal); EN, FR, DE, ES, IT (Tristan und Isolde)
Label: Opus Arte

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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I enjoyed this innovative production up to the point of Siegfried's death then the whole thing went haywire. What a shame.
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Format: DVD
This 1999 Amsterdam 'Ring' is well directed by Pierre Audi, and features colourful Japanese-inspired costumes, but is a huge let-down as far as the singing is concerned. The worst soloist here is Altmeyer, miscast at this point of her career as Brunnhilde - no match for her 'Ring' roles under Boulez (Sieglinde and Gutrune), Janowski (Brunnhilde) and Karajan (Freia): in addition to a more-or-less acceptable wobble, most of the top notes are simply beyond her, as when she sounds so tired towards the end of the 'Gotterdammerung' duet that she quickly runs out of breath and even chokes on the final 'Heil!', which her partner sustains superbly; other no less embarrassing moments recur throughout this opera, as well as in 'Siegfried' (to some extent tolerable, given the role's brevity) and 'Walkure', where the beginning of each of the repeated verse of the battle cry is delivered hoarsely (you'll cringe on hearing 2.54 and 4.16 on DVD 2 of the opera); when she just manages to hold a top note, her body begins to convulse (extremely painful to watch and hear); she looks rather astonished during her thunderous curtain calls at the end of the cycle, as if saying: 'I'm glad the ignorant applauding bunch didn't notice anything out of the ordinary'. (I cannot believe that these passages were left intact: the least that could have been done was to re-record them in sound to cover up the defects.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 0.0 out of 5 stars 0 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent production 18 Oct. 2013
By philippe hislaire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this production this year in Amsterdam and I have the complete DVD. This is a very interesting work done by the DNO and Pierre Audi and the singers are doing a fine job in general. Unfortunately, the DVD does not reflect the beauty of the set and the way the orchestra is located as you can see it live. I personally thing that the best of the 4 is Gotterdamerung.
The complete production (2 cycles) in Amsterdam will be presented in january and February 2014 and I advise any Wagner afficionado to see it live.
Enjoy!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could Not Disagree More 28 April 2013
By Saiko-komon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
As a three time Beyreuth sojourner and possessing (as far as I know) every recording (including radio broadcasts) and video of Meister Wagner's
works (including those not available in this country and a unique Japanese language production) I am impelled to disagree with the negative comments about the singers in this production. Of course, few will ever match the golden era of the Wagner sangmeisters (in my opinion but probably biased by my first aural introduction). I was much enthralled with the majority of the singing ability of the artists in this production. As the master noted, a little hoarseness and croaking give reality to the gods (paraphrased). I prefer that you ignore the critics and snide jibes to judge for yourself. Check out YouTube and excerpts available online and YOU BE THE JUDGE as to what you like in performance, letting neither other reviewers or me prejudice you. Purists always live a life in desperate misery in a vain search for the unobtainable. I gave that up long ago to just immerse myself in the pure pleasure of the experience and let the occasional screech fail to disrupt my pleasure. Of course, there are really BAD performances out there, but if they capture a young one's desire to hear more opera, then let the BAD lead to the GOOD. In the aural and visual realm, YOU BE THE JUDGE.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 6 April 2013
By Melomane (aka A.B.) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This 1999 Amsterdam 'Ring' is well directed by Pierre Audi, and features colourful Japanese-inspired costumes, but is a huge let-down as far as the singing is concerned. The worst soloist here is Altmeyer, miscast at this point of her career as Brunnhilde - no match for her 'Ring' roles under Boulez (Sieglinde and Gutrune), Janowski (Brunnhilde) and Karajan (Freia): in addition to a more-or-less acceptable wobble, most of the top notes are simply beyond her, as when she sounds so tired towards the end of the 'Gotterdammerung' duet that she quickly runs out of breath and even chokes on the final 'Heil!', which her partner sustains superbly; other no less embarrassing moments recur throughout this opera, as well as in 'Siegfried' (to some extent tolerable, given the role's brevity) and 'Walkure', where the beginning of each of the repeated verse of the battle cry is delivered hoarsely (you'll cringe on hearing 2.54 and 4.16 on DVD 2 of the opera); when she just manages to hold a top note, her body begins to convulse (extremely painful to watch and hear); she looks rather astonished during her thunderous curtain calls at the end of the cycle, as if saying: 'I'm glad the ignorant applauding bunch didn't notice anything out of the ordinary'. (I cannot believe that these passages were left intact: the least that could have been done was to re-record them in sound to cover up the defects.) Not that the other members of the cast are on top form either: of the well-known soloists (except Clark, though still not his former self as Mime at Bayreuth), Secunde (Sieglinde), Merritt (Loge), Brocheler (Wotan), Schone (Gunther), Bundschuh (Gutrune), and Rydl (Hunding and Hagen) are frankly past their best, while (apart from Kruse's fine Siegfried and Runkel's outstanding Fricka) newcomers like Keyes (Siegmund), Gjevang (Erda and Waltraute), and Smit (Alberich) are vibrato-ridden performers, the rest (including Rhinemaidens, Valkyries and Norns) ranging from good to average. Though the close singer-audience interaction is highly successful (due to the ring-shaped stage), the fixed set begins to grow monotonous as one act follows another with almost little variation throughout the cycle, but that's a minor quibble, compared with the production's overall vocal quality, despite a superb chorus and orchestra (the supplied documentaries, though highly informative, are small consolation). The accompanying printed matter features a short article by Haenchen on the variations included in the score he used (the Woodbird is sung by a boy): only a few examples are being sampled, and the same article appears in each of the four booklets enclosed in each opera case (I had expected generous extracts from the individual operas appearing in the booklet of the work in question). I don't understand how or why it deserves a 5-star rating, unless one watches with the mute button on. Doubting that even those who are new to the cycle will find it satisfactory, I hardly think that 'Ring' fans who know the work by heart will find it worth the addition to their DVD library.
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