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Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen [DVD] [2009] [2011] [NTSC]

4.3 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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  • Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen [DVD] [2009] [2011] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Tomlinson, Anne Evans, Graham Clark, Poul Elming, Nadine Secinde
  • Directors: Harry Kupfer
  • Format: Classical, NTSC
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Warner Classiscs & Jazz
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Sept. 2009
  • Run Time: 917 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002G1TSBI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,633 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

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
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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By кот Зигги TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Mar. 2016
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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. And from a production perspective it doesn't disappoint. It is quite an exciting Ring and the commitment and singing perfection all round is impressive. The standout performance of the cycle has to be John Tomlinson as Wotan. He brings everything that the character should be and more. His torn character and roguishness, particularly in Rheingold, is exactly what Wotan is all about. I do wish the video and sound quality was a bit clearer though. Video is not particularly sharp, and whilst for sound there is the DTS option, there isn't enough clarity around some of the instrumentation; I suppose this explains the mid price instead of the premium paid for the likes of the Copenhagen Ring - which whilst has a superb sound and video quality, it isn't a patch on the production of the Kupfer production. As whole though, this is my favourite "non-traditional" Ring so far. I'll have to watch my Met/Levine set again sometime soon to see how a traditional staging compares to Kupfer's futuristic vision.
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Harry Kupfer's early-1990s production is a highly original creation that is neither traditional nor post-modern, but a bridge between the two. In interview he says he has set the scene "in a fictitious future, though not in the science fiction sense of the word. The idea was that it should make sense forwards and backwards", since Wagner's message is timeless and relevant to all times. "What the `Ring' foretells is very relevant indeed." Watching this opera, though, I could not help feeling that the theme of saving the world from ourselves might have been made more explicit.

These are filmed performances with no apparent audience, so the production team's concentration is wholly on the viewer watching at home. Indeed, Kupfer says that his production was intended right from the start to also be for video. So, for example, the singers sing to camera rather than to the auditorium. This is gratifying. Close-ups allow the full facial expressions of the participants to be experienced, though Kupfer says "We did our utmost to adhere faithfully to the stage performance ... If Wagner had lived a few decades later, he would have certainly have gone to Hollywood ..." The sound is excellent. The acting is excellent. The art direction - the costumes, lighting, effects, are all ... well, excellent. There are brilliantly-conceived stage transitions between scenes.

Barenboim does well at the helm of the orchestra, whose sound is often well to the fore in the sound mix. For example, in Gotterdammerung we can hear the woodwind flitter in anger as Brunnhilde berates the deceit played upon her, and in Die Walkure the opening strings display those marvellously brilliant rhythmic cuttings, and that shimmering portentous violence.
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Brilliant production - performers were very well chosen and stage design was really good. It was filmed over 1991 and 1992 but still one of the best available on the market. I have Das Rheingold single DVD and decided to get this complete Ring Cycle DVDs. The difference was the single DVD has a booklet with very good synopsis for the story which this lacked. What is on the booklet that comes with the DVDs is the casts information, the track names and performing time. There are English, French, Spanish, Italian and German subtitles.
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Music wonderful; acting and singing performances wonderful. Staging and costumes incongruous at times, which is a pity but the whole is still well worth the watching. It is a shame that those involved tried so very hard at being different but only achieved in detracting from the complete enjoyment of a performance deserving better.
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