Under the baton of James Levine, Gotterdammerung ("The Twilight of the Gods") has a narrative drive that reminds us that, of all the individual operas in Wagner's Ring cycle, this is the one most about human emotions and the one in which its heroes are pulled into a world where they are most vulnerable to them. Siegfried Jerusalem as Siegfried and Hildegard Behrens as Brunnhilde never, in a sense, stand a chance: they are innocents who allow themselves to be manipulated not merely by the villainous Hagen, but by the ordinary venality of Gunther and his sister Gutrune, who goes along with a dirty little scheme to get what she wants, and is destroyed by it.
This legendary Bayreuth Festival production of Wagner’s 'Der Ring des Nibelungen', directed by Harry Kupfer, with designs by Hans Schavernoch, and conducted by Daniel Barenboim, is considered perhaps the finest video recording of these four operas ever made. For their innovative modernist staging, Kupfer and his team turned away from the work’s time of origin and located The Ring at a “road of history”, a meeting-place of past, present and future, which sets the scene for the story’s struggles of power and love. Barenboim’s authoritative yet highly responsive reading of the immense score and the extraordinary performances of the cast help to make this a truly memorable Ring.
In 1976 French director Patrice Chéreau's cenentenary staging of Wagner's "Ring"-Cycle unleashed the greatest scandal in Bayreuth Festival history but, by the end of its last performance in 1980, this epoch-making production was acclaimed with an hour and a half of thunderous applause. "Götterdämmerung presents a world in which no values exist any more. The only refuge is in the past" (Chateau). "The videotaped Bayreuth Ring succeed triumphantly."
La Fura del Baus, famous for their opening ceremony of the Olympic games in Barcelona and opera stagings in Salzburg, Ruhrtriennale, etc., use in their groundbreaking Ring 3D computer projections that evoke computer games, organic structures built of athletic performers that recall the "Cirque du soleil". “Ryan is a formidable stage-presence in both these music dramas…[He] can fine down the sound to spin a properly lyrical thread, and in his dying salutation to Brünnhilde rounds off a performance remarkable not just for its tireless stamina but for its musical and dramatic sensitivity.” (Gramophone).
The most famous, the most performed, the most thrilling, and the most recorded opera cycle in music history. Filmed at the world-famous Metropolitan Opera House in New York, in high definition – the award winning Robert Lepage production. Featuring Bryn Terfel as Wotan – universally recognized as the finest bass-baritone – and Wotan – of his generation. Also starring Deborah Voigt as Brunnhilde, and star tenor Jonas Kaufmann as Siegmund.
This magnificent compilation of the greatest Wagner singers and conductors of the 20s and early 30s is an absolute MUST for everyone who is remotely interrested in how Wagner was done in the past.
The greatest attractions are the magnificent interpretations of Friedrich Schorr, Frida Leider and the young Lauritz Melchior. Schorr sings Wotan in the excerpts from Die Walkure and Leider sings Brunnhilde. Melchior sings the young Siegfried.
Completing their Ring cycle on Naxos, Jaap van Zweden and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra have at last released their much anticipated recording of Götterdämmerung, which proves conclusively that this enterprise was a success. There had been some concern that Wagner's tetralogy would be an insurmountable challenge for this inexperienced orchestra, and that an untried conductor and singers would be unable to give convincing performances from start to finish. Beginning with the release of Das Rheingold in 2015, which was followed by Die Walküre in 2016 and Siegfried in 2017, the performances showed increasing confidence and commitment, not least from van Zweden, who had planned this project since he began his tenure with the orchestra in 2012, but also from the orchestra, which provided consistently solid playing and many moments of sheer brilliance.
The production of a new Ring at the Bayreuth Festival is an event that takes place every six years. Bayreuth recordings of the complete cycle are rare; this is only the third official audio recording and the second filmed version. The Kupfer/Barenboim Ring was performed over a five-year period and recorded at the conclusion when the "Bayreuth Workshop" had raised "the quality of the performance to an almost unsurpassable level".
Recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival in 2008, this production stars a host of international stars including Michelle Breedt, Albert Dohmen, Stephen Gould, Hans-Peter Konig, Linda Watson & Eva-Maria Westbroek. Christian Thielemann, one of the most sought-after conductors in the world, takes the baton with the Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra.
Five CDs of otherworldly beauty and power that revolutionized opera. These 19th-century masterworks include selections and scenes from Der Ring des Nibelungen, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Parsifal. Performances by Birgit Nilsson, Leonie Rysanek, Waltraud Meier, Wolfgang Windgassen, Peter Hofmann, Theo Adam, Matti Salminen with Georg Solti, James Levine and others.