6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This lyrical Siegfried.,
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This review is from: Wagner: Siegfried [Lance Ryan, Peter Bronder, Terje Stensvold, Johannes Martin Kränzle] [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
The staging,costumes and singing is of a high standard;Barenboim is one of the great Ring conductors alive today. But the problem is the concept of the Ring by Guy Cassiers,which is muddled and is best ignored as I have explained in my reviews on Das Rhinegold and Die Walkure.Read them if possible.However,Cassiers vision does not interfere with this Ring cycle and is very traditional and worth while obtaining.Just see it as a myth,primarly about us.Actually,Wagner admitted that even he did not really understand what he had written. I own 10 Bluray and DVD ring Cycles and you can understand the Directors aim. For example,in the Valencia,Chereau,Dutch even the Frankfurter ring, I understand what is behind the concept,but even then you can read what you like into it.The Ring cycle even today has the ability to cause debate.
Wagner wrote that he left Siegfried under a tree in Act 2, 1856-7. He returned in 1864-5 to finish the Act,completing Act 3 1869-71 and then Gotterdammerung. He left the ring for a period to write Tristan and Isolde and the Meistersingers, to get the ideas he had about the German Philosopher Schopenhauer out of his system. Wagner realized he could not change the Feuerbach version of his Ring cycle.
The staging in Act I Siegfried,has swords piled up on each side of the stage.The bear is a skin worn by Siegfried. In the forging scene TV sets are joined together by fencing material;fire is projected on to the background.In Act 2 there are chains put together to look like individual trees,very effective when light is shone on them,or film of green leaves projected on the chains. It is here where Alberich meets Wotan. The Dragon is a snakes head projected on a screen, with cloth made to look like its body;first grey,then red when Siegfried kills it. The bird is a woman following Siegfried. She is dressed in a 1860's dress,to remind us,that this is when Wagner wrote the music.In otherwords,the past,meets the present,can effect the future,unless we recognize this fact.If only Cassiers had stuck to this original concept there would be no trouble.There are ballet dancers with swords making a statement.This is an imaginative touch. The fire seems to come out of trees,and when the rock is reached,they leap up very high.The rock is made of cloth that is made to look like it comes from the 1860's.The backdrops are very artistic and created by projecting fire on the backdrops.
The costumes are highly traditional especially in Siegfried,they would be more at home in the latest Met Ring cycle.The long skirts are worn for a reason as I explained.In the Frankfurter Ring the Walkuries are dressed in 1876 costumes. The conductor Daniel Barenboim knows the score and can see the whole,not simply conduct act by act. With this La Scala orchestra,he is able to bring out the marvellous melodies in this score.Because it is an Italian orchestra,the music becomes more lyrical,then we are familar with,especially when a German orchestra plays the score.
Mime Peter Bronder is very good,acting and singing in the general tone that most Mimes adopt.Only in one ring I have,the Lubeck ring,does Mime actually sing the part. Alberich Johannes Martin Kranzle, is Sixtus Beckmesser in the excellent Glyndebourne, Bluray Die Meistersingers. Fafner Alexander Tsymbalyuk.There have been three Wotans in this Ring,the first in Das Rhinegold was Rene Pape,then in Die Walkure Vitalij Kowaljow, now Siegfried Terje Stensvold.There is no problem because we get to hear and see,the best Wotans of today. Also,in the Ring cycle,people age,especially Wotan; when Siegmund dies Wotan is reasonably young,then in Siegfried,as he states he is older,and should look like he is.Generally they do not. Stensvold is at least 65 and so fits the part of the Wanderer. I own the Frankfurter Ring cycle where he is Wotan and he is marvellous.People change in life,so they should in the Ring cycle which really takes place over many years,so changes to the singers do not worry me. In the Weimar Ring the Wotans were interchanged,and the next one was flat and out of tune,but I still like it. As for Lance Ryan,he was great in the Valencia Ring,shocking in the Frankfurter Ring,but better in Siegfried.He only has a bit of trouble in the awakening scene with Nina Stemme who is a great Brunnhilde.I like this Ring.Gotterdammerung should be mind blowing.We might have a new tenor.
In the DVD Lubeck Ring conducted by Roman Brogli-Sacker,Jurgen Muller Siegfried and Rebecca Teem Brunnhilde,show how the great awakening scene should be sung.Why we have never heard any more of Teem is amazing,she is a young lady;small with a huge voice and perfect pitch. In this much underrated ring, the Siegfried Jurgen Muller,was changed and the replacement had bad moments in Gotterdammerung. So the point is,many ring cycles are not perfect. Another good pair in the awakening scene is Jeannine Altmeyer and Heinz Kruse in the DVD Dutch ring conducted by Hartmut Haenchen, directed by Audi.One of my favourites.Very emotional.This duet is hard to bring off.Siegfried is tired from singing the three acts and Brunnhilde has just come on stage. I am told,even these dramatic soprano's have trouble with this love duet,and they are on stage for a short time.A famous disaster averted in this Act 3 love duet,at La Scala,1950,Siegfried,conducted by Furtwangler was recorded;now on CD.What happened was that Set Svanholm, who was 50,was in fairly dire straits having put in so much effort into the Forging of Nothung in Act 1.Flagstad realizing this as did Furtwangler,managed to get him through the Act.You should hear the noises coming from Set.The Ring is a difficult opera and is hard to produce and have all the singers in good voice on the night.There are often replacements.
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Initial post: 1 Nov 2015 11:54:16 GMT
The Lubeck Ring is, in my opinion, the very best!! I saw it live and Rebecca Teem was just as good if not better than on the DVD. I have seen Rebecca Teem since at Essen in Gotterdammerung but she does seem to have disappeared - shame!!!
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