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Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure

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Product details

  • Performer: Kristjan Järvi
  • Audio CD (9 Sept. 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Classical
  • ASIN: B01I5YNULS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,093 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Digital Booklet: Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure
Digital Booklet: Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure
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Product Description


  • "The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure" is a symphonic version of Wagner's "The Ring of the Nibelung", arranged by Dutch composer Henk de Vlieger (*1953).
  • De Vlieger chose the most important orchestral excerpts from the cycle and managed to link them together in such a way as to create an unified, single symphonic work.
  • This recording is the first album of the newly founded orchestra BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC, made up of current Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic members and selected alumni.

Kristjan Järvi has ‘earned a reputation as one of the "canniest, and most innovative, programmers on the classical scene" [Reuters]. Curating and conducting his original, genre-fusing projects and festivals with an individual approach and style, his concerts have been proclaimed a "life-enhancing experience" [Herald Scotland].

He realizes his pioneering ideas with his four ensembles: as Music Director of the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Gstaad Festival Orchestra, as creator of his New York-based classical-hip-hop-jazz band Absolute Ensemble, and as Founding Conductor and Music Director of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic.

Kristjan Järvi’s works with some of today’s brightest creative minds, from film directors Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis, to composers and artists Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, Tan Dun, Giya Kancheli, Hauschka, Dhafer Youssef, Anoushka Shankar, Max Richter and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is a new force in music and culture. Taking the traditional orchestral model further than it’s gone before, it is creating a social movement, with a vision for the Baltic Sea region that encompasses the environment, culture and society. Baltic Sea Philharmonic brings together leading musicians from the ten countries of the Baltic Sea region – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. Under the direction of Founding Conductor and Music Director Kristjan Järvi, the ensemble performs wide-ranging repertoire from across the region, in celebration of the area’s cultural diversity.

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Thirty years ago, Telarc released Maazel's orchestra-only digest of the Ring with the Berliners, This was the first CD-length digest of orchestral music from the Ring cycle. Since then, other arrangers and conductors have produced their potted Ring digests for orchestra. So far, Henk de Vlieger, Andreas Tarkmann and Duisburg Philharmonic cellist Friedmann Dressler have all produced distilled orchestra-only Rings that have been released as audio CDs.

In my reviews of the other versions of this de Vlieger distillation, I weighed up the strengths and weaknesses of each digest. The Maazel version has sold well because of the Karajan-era Berliners and the audiophile-grade Telarc engineering. However, it has its shortcomings because it does not make the events of the story clear to listeners. Tarkmann's distillation is user-friendly in having four parts to correspond to each opera, but it shortchanges us by skirting over the big moments. The Dressler version is hard to come by, but it still feels more satisfying than Tarkmann. Coming back to de Vlieger, I find that he makes the story clearer and his transitions and dissolves between operas are less abrupt. There are some clever joins he employs between sections, for instance the Siegmund-Hunding fight and the Vengeance trio from Act Two of Twilight of the Gods.

It's interesting to note that this de Vlieger digest has enjoyed more recordings than the other Ring distillations to date. This recent Kristjan Jarvi recording brings the tally of de Vlieger's recordings to four, to follow de Waart, Neeme Jarvi and the Swedish BIS recording of Renes. Although the elder Jarvi's recording is well-crafted, i think that the younger Jarvi offers a more thrustful version that still serves the story.
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Ring highlights for people who enjoy the music but are wearied by some of the singing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars The youngest Jarvi conductor follows his father and attempts the de Vlieger Ring distillation 3 May 2017
By Yi-Peng - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Thirty years ago, Telarc released Maazel's orchestra-only digest of the Ring with the Berliners, This was the first CD-length digest of orchestral music from the Ring cycle. Since then, other arrangers and conductors have produced their potted Ring digests for orchestra. So far, Henk de Vlieger, Andreas Tarkmann and Duisburg Philharmonic cellist Friedmann Dressler have all produced distilled orchestra-only Rings that have been released as audio CDs.

In my reviews of the other versions of this de Vlieger distillation, I weighed up the strengths and weaknesses of each digest. The Maazel version has sold well because of the sonority of the Karajan-era Berliners and the audiophile-grade Telarc engineering. The Telarc CD might be the closest to a Knappertsbusch spirit in the digital age. However, it has its shortcomings as a digest because it does not make the events of the story clear to listeners. Some of Maazel's chosen passages don't get to the heart of the matter. Tarkmann's distillation is user-friendly in having four parts to correspond to each opera, but it shortchanges us by skirting over the big moments. The Dressler version is hard to come by, but it still feels more satisfying than Tarkmann. Coming back to de Vlieger, I find that he makes the story clearer and his transitions and dissolves between operas are less abrupt. There are some clever joins he employs between sections, for instance the Siegmund-Hunding fight and the Vengeance trio from Act Two of Twilight of the Gods.

It's interesting to note that this de Vlieger digest has enjoyed more recordings than the other Ring distillations to date. This recent Kristjan Jarvi recording brings the tally of de Vlieger's recordings to four, to follow de Waart, Neeme Jarvi and the Swedish BIS recording of Renes. Although the elder Jarvi's recording is well-crafted, i think that the younger Jarvi offers a more thrustful version that still serves the story. I know that this orchestra is not a fully-established orchestra and that opera house orchestras with seasoned opera conductors are better at bringing out the subtleties in the music. However, this is still an energetic, enthusiastic account of the music and it would still be a worthy purchase for anyone who wants an orchestra-only digest of the Ring.

In this 59-minute recording, there may be some faster-than-usual speeds, notably in the opening Rheingold prelude Although this may turn off listeners who want the first minutes of the Ring to be placid, the listener gets swept up in the events of the story. Kristjan Jarvi has a firm grip on proceedings and his performance adapts itself well to the different moods in the drama. The dramatic sections such as the Ride of the Valkyries and the Rhine Journey are forward-moving and suitably vigorous, but the Magic Fire sequence and the Forest Murmurs relax without rushing listeners unduly. This version does not downplay the danger and menace inherent in the drama, notably when the music describes Siegfried's heroic deeds and his death on Hagen's spear. Also, it offers well-sculpted moments of climax, notably during the Funeral March.

The recording is vivid and atmospheric, if occasionally favouring the lower end. Occasionally, I wished that the brasses could sound suitably weighty, notably during the first part of the Ride of the Valkyries. Despite this concern, the performance still comes off well on this recording.

I know that the Chandos disc is more sculpted and the Renes version features a seasoned opera orchestra who knows the ins and outs of playing Wagner. However, I don't think any prospective buyer would go wrong in purchasing this disc.
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