Notes and Editorial Reviews
The "making of" in this case refers not to Wagner's Ring itself, but to the famous Patrice Chéreau production that marked the Bayreuth Festival's centenary in 1980. Accordingly there are interviews with Friedland and Wolfgang Wagner, video director Brian Large, and the young Chéreau himself, who attempts to describe the genesis of his groundbreaking, and then controversial staging of Wagner's epic. We also hear from Pierre Boulez, who shares Chéreau's esthetic principle of ever seeking out new ways to present the old, and from Donald McIntyre and Gweneth Jones, who presents a delightfully upbeat off-stage persona.
The 56-minute program offers a good number of rehearsal and performance
excerpts (without subtitles), though few go on for any appreciable length. We see Jones thrilling us with her cries of "Hojotoho!" and Manfred Jung forging Siegfried's sword in an industrial-age foundry, and then using it to shatter Donald McIntyre's (The Wanderer) staff. It's just enough to whet your appetite for the DVD set of the complete Ring. The production values are of high quality (for 1980s standards), and the video transfers are sharp and clear. Audio is good, if not up to the best of today. In all, this is a highly interesting documentary that provides a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of a Bayreuth production. Essential for Wagner enthusiasts.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Excerpt(s) by Richard Wagner
Donald McIntyre (Bass),
Dame Gwyneth Jones (Soprano)
Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Written: 1853-1874; Germany
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