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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 15 February 2003
Channel Four first showed this version of Wagner's Tetralogy some years ago, and now it makes a very welcome addition to the growing DVD Opera Catalogue. First things first, its superb! Picture and sound are simply awesome on DVD, which isnt surprising. Moreover, the production values are first class. There have been numerous versions of Wagner's Ring over the years, and to be honest, one should not compare since all productions are different owing to the conducter's intepretation; singers; and staging. This version almost, but not quite, achieves what perhaps Wagner himself was looking for in the staging. Perhaps he knew that in his time, it was not really possible to achieve the standard that he was wanting. Now, with the wonders of technology and modern stage designs, Wagner's dream has come true. Of course, Sir Georg Solti's version recorded by Decca during the 1960s does remain the definitive version taking into account Birgit Nilson's wonderful intepretation of Brunnhilde. This version however, is for our time. Wonderfully staged and sung by a cast which is difficult to beat. Hildegard Behrens is wonderful as Brunnhilde. She may lack the "extra" finesse of Gwyneth Jones and Birgit Nilson, but it doesnt really matter. Siegfried Jerusalem is a fine Siegfried, strong and youthful, able to deliver with style and panache. A wonderful cast all round really. And finally, James Levine's stylish intepretation makes the music flow from first bar to the last, culminating in Valhalla's destruction and the dawning of a new age for mankind.
My only criticism is however, that this version is NTSC coded; so unless you have a multi region DVD, you may have to decide whether to buy this version now just for the soundtrack which still plays superbly, or wait until you upgrade your DVD player. The choice is yours really. Any die hard Wagner fan cannot afford to be without this version though. Can be bought for a good price too, cheaper than the music CDs version.
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Product Details

4.3 out of 5 stars
40
4.3 out of 5 stars
£45.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime