Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
36
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£24.74+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 26 May 2015
This is a short review, as most of the points have already been made by others in the review of the DVD.

The singers are all first rate and it's worth buying this version for them. John Tomlinson in particular is outstanding, as is Graham Clarke as Loge and Mime. The transfer to Blu-Ray is good and the sound (through my hi-fi amp and speakers) is outstanding. The famous Bayreuth accoustic (which sadly I've never heard in person) comes across beautifully.

So why only four stars...? The downsides to this version are the staging and the conducting. The staging now looks dated and rather shallow. It lacks the imagination and vision of the Chereau version from about 15 years earlier.

Barenboim's conducting is also lacking compared with his predecessors. He doesn't have the precision or clarity of Boulez, but at the same time he also lacks the passion and feeling of, say, Clemens Krauss in the 1953 recording, or Karl Bohm from 1966-7. You know you're listening to a superstar international conductor, not someone who brings the insight of years in the German opera house.

I don't regret buying it, but I'm more likely to go back to Boulez and Chereau than to this version.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 February 2016
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 played and sung and very well acted. Some odd costuming, but one soon gets used to it and it does not detract from a persuasive, distinctive (but not perverse) production.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 August 2014
I will start with the best first, the singers are all very good or even better, I would go as far as to say that Anne Evans is the very best Brunhilde of the seven versions that I have seen. John Tomlinson is up to standard and takes his part well. Gunter Von Kannen is an excellent Alberich, and Helmut Pampuch does a good job as Mime.
In Die Valkurie, Paul Elming and Nadine Secunde are well cast as the brother and sister lovers, a very good pairing.
Siegfried Jerusalem is a fine crass Siegfried, He has a fine voice, I thoroughly enjoy his performance.
In both Siegfried and Rheingold, the brief appearances of Erda by Birgitta Svenden is a minor highlight, she is most impressive visually and aurally.
Eva Maria Bundschuh is also good as the most sympathetic character in the whole epic, Gutrune.
Now for the costumes, they are in the main vaguely mid 20th century, somewhat inappropriate in the main, and very disappointing there is also a fair bit of incongruity, with for instance the two Nibelung brothers who do look more in character, and the giants costumes, which are big but unwieldy. In Gotterdamerung Hagen seems to be a hells angel biker, but minus his bike. In fact the more modern costumes work better in Gotterdammerung than the other three episodes.
The staging is very boring in the main, with often throughout a bland dark surfaced stage. The props are often bewildering and for instance, in Niebelhiem there is an iron gantry bridging the stage. The Rhine is green floodlighting at ground level, Mime has an old steam boiler for his home, and the interior of the Gibichung residence is four sets of skeletal steps each at right angles, and leading to a central platform, puzzling to say the least.
Wotan appears from time to time observing the action, as does Alberich, unique to this production.
There is also a rather strange ending, involving a number of people in evening dress.
All in all I find the staging and costumes bewildering and rather self indulgent, and not enhancing the production.
If I were rating this from the visual aspects I would struggle to give three stars, but the quality of the singing lifts the production and it will remain part of my library.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 November 2012
I've listened mainly to Puccini, Verdi and Mozart operas over the years, and this was my first exposure to The Ring. I bought this version on the strength of other Amazon reviews and watched it over 4 days on my home cinema setup with a large projected image and Dolby Digital 5.1.

I could go on and on about the production, the acting, the singing, the orchestra, the quality of the sound recording etc, but will content myself by saying this dvd blew me away and opened my eyes to what is possible in opera. John Tomlinson and Anne Evans in the pivotal roles of Wotan and Brunnhilde are both magnificent.

I own hundreds of dvds of all sorts, music, comedy, films, tv shows etc. This has immediately become my favourite of them all.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 October 2013
I purchased the DVDs as I needed a version where I had a translation of the text.I have previously listened to parts of the Solti Ring and also own the La Scala Furtwangler version on black disc.

For £27 this is a real bargain. I have so far watched the first two operas and dipped into the last part of Gotterdammerung. All the roles are well cast and the orchestra under Barenboim is superb. I am not too sure about the production. The Valkyries are more like pantomime characters than female warriors.

It is still the cheapest way to hear a modern version and I do respect Barenboim's interpretation.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 November 2012
I compared the blu-rays I received today to Kultur's DVD issue from last year. There is a tiny improvement in the video resolution that is insignificant, at least on the upconverting Oppo bdp-93. I could hear no difference in the audio, at least not in the stereo track. I have a very revealing high-end stereo setup. There was also no difference in the audio when heard through a Benchmark DAC1 PRE and Sennheiser 600's.

The initial Kultur DVD issue had a defect in the stereo track of most of act III of Siegfried, which Kultur later corrected. The Siegfried blu-ray seems to have a different kind of problem in the act III stereo track. The Siegfried blu-ray stereo audio track in acts I and II is significantly lower level than the other operas. In act III the volume goes suddenly up so much that you cannot go on listening with the same volume as in acts II and I; you have to turn the volume down significantly. In other words, acts II and I are too quiet and act III too loud. In addition the act III stereo track sounds different even after correcting levels. There is more reverb, the sound is much more forward and the overall timbre is different and more aggressive and unpleasant than acts II and I. It's clear that the act III stereo track is from a different source than the other two acts and is of a lower quality. When I compared the Siegfried blu-ray stereo audio track with the Siegfried DVD, the replacement DVD Kultur sent me for act III of Siegfried has a stereo track that is the same level as the other two acts, but all three acts on the DVD sound more like the lower quality audio on the act III of the blu-ray, but not quite as strident.
---------------------------------------------------------------
I wrote Kultur about this issue, and this is the response I got on 11/13/12:

Dear Mr. Eitan,

We received your e-mail regarding the stereo audio on Act III of the Siegfried disc from the Wagner Blu-ray set.

When we released this on standard DVD, there was a problem in the master tape where partially through Act III the audio changed from stereo to mono.
It was corrected by using the audio track from Warner's original DVD released years ago.

And to avoid the same problem for the Blu-ray, the same audio track was used. So yes, it was from a different source.
The volume level can obviously be changed by the viewer, but as far as the other things you mentioned such as reverb, or being more "forward", the only way that could be changed is if it were re-mixed somehow. Unfortunately, we don't have any access to the multiple track audio to do that.

I also wanted to let you know that there are no problems with the two surround sound tracks in Dolby 5.1 or in DTS if you have the ability to listen to it that way.

Should you want a refund, you may contact...
11 comment| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 June 2016
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!" I have a multi-region DVD player, and in any case the message refers to the TV not the player. It gives no indication of what the problem is, so I have no idea how to fix it. I have never had this problem with any of the hundreds (thousands?!) of DVDs I have bought or played over the last 15 years. So regrettably it will have to be returned, unless some kind soul who has had a similar experience can tell me how they got over it.
11 comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 December 2012
I shall not repeat the praises about this set voiced in earlier reviews. To me it is the ultimate Ring cycle available on video, mainly thanks to the producer (Harry Kupfer), the designer (Hans Schavernoch) and last but not least Daniel Barenboim, the singers and the orchestra.
I have seen several Ring cycles at opera houses, and even more from videos, but this recording easily tops all of them. I could go on like that forever.
But I must nitpick on the technical side of the release. Whilst a more comprehensive booklet would be welcome, this very slim 16-page booklet definitely keeps the price of the set down. What does not keep the price down is the mastering of these blu-ray discs. Their main fault is annoying to say the least. When you play these long operas and want to take a break, the disc has no memory option to resume the playback. When you stop the disc you must go through all the initial nag screens with warnings and menus, and to reset your subtitles again. And if you make a mistake - you are back to square one. Neither is it possible to tap in a chapter number on the remote control to move directly to the desired place - no, it is not possible: you must either keep pressing the skip button or go back to the Scene Selection screen. Hey, you people in Kultur! Get your act together next time!
I must add here that I played these discs on two Panasonics: one of which is a player, and the other is a blu-ray recorder. Sadly the effect is the same.
These are minor faults but very annoying when you want to enjoy the continuity of the opera.
To go around this problem, from now on I am going to pause the playback when I need to leave the room. This may bring about the player's earlier demise but at least we'll enjoy this superb RING. Happy viewing!
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 March 2013
These comments refer to the Kupfer/Barenboim Bayreuth 1991/92 Ring, NOT TO THE LA SCALA RING.

I received the newly released TDK blu-rays of the Barenboim ring and compared to the kultur blu-rays of same that were issued less than 6 months ago. TDK's booklet has some photos and more information than the kultur booklet, but other than that they are completely identical. They have the same scenes, menu, even the same fonts for the menu and the same artwork on the disc's label side. They have the same opening Unitel and Warner logos screen, the same single click sound on that screen. Sound and video are completely identical. These are simply the same files. It's a mystery why TDK released this so soon after the kultur release, as both have the same region coding. Both have the same 13 minutes bonus feature (interviews).

They also have the same problem in Siegfried. The initial Kultur DVD issue had a defect in the stereo track of most of act III of Siegfried. There was a problem in the master tape where partially through Act III the audio changed from stereo to mono. It was corrected by using the audio track from Warner's original DVD release from years ago (!!!), and listening (to the DVD's) with headphones I can hear it's of a slightly lower quality than the other 3 operas.

The Siegfried blu-ray has a different kind of problem in the stereo track. The Siegfried blu-ray stereo audio track in acts I and II is significantly lower level than the other operas. In act III the volume goes suddenly up so much that you cannot go on listening with the same volume as in acts II and I; you have to turn the volume down significantly. In other words, acts II and I are too quiet and act III too loud. In addition the act III stereo track sounds different even after correcting levels. There is more reverb, the sound is much more forward and the overall timbre is shrill, more aggressive and unpleasant than acts II and I. It's clear that the act III stereo track is from a different source than the other two acts and is of a lower quality.

So this is a defective issue (again).
55 comments| 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 January 2013
La plus valeur par rapport aux cd est réelle
Il s'agit à mon avis de la meilleure version. Boulez souffre de voix désastreuses et la récente version levine est d'un ennui totale, la mise en scène est certes hors de prix mais il n'y a aucune direction d'acteurs
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse