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Wagner: Die Walküre / Zagrosek, Staatsoper Stuttgart


Release Date: 09/26/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8660172   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Tichina VaughnStella KleindienstMagdalena SchäferNidia Palacios,   ... 
Conductor:  Lothar Zagrosek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart State Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 44 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



WAGNER Die Walküre Lothar Zagrosek, cond; Robert Gambill ( Siegmund ); Angela Denoke ( Sieglinde ); Attila Jun ( Hunding ); Jan-Hendrik Rootering ( Wotan ); Renate Behle ( Brünnhilde ); Tichina Vaughn ( Fricka ); Stuttgart St O Read more class="BULLET12b">• NAXOS 8.660172 (3 CDs: 244:01) Live: Stuttgart 9/29/2002 & 1/2/2003


Lothar Zagrosek’s 2002–2003 Stuttgart Ring was previously released on DVD and the entire cycle was reviewed in Fanfare 28:5. It’s actually my least favorite of the six Ring s available (or almost available, in terms of completeness) on video. The Stuttgart production employed four different directors and four completely different sets of singers, with variable results: Rheingold and Walküre were not as successful, theatrically, as the later two operas. But, as noted in 28:5, a uniformly strong aspect of the cycle was Zagrosek’s leadership and the Stuttgart Staatsorchester’s performance proved uniformly strong. The sonics, too, were a plus, presenting the orchestra with impact and detail.


Naxos has been issuing the individual operas on CD— Das Rheingold was covered in 30:1—and this Walküre is a winner. Robert Gambill, as Siegmund, starts off a bit stiffly, but warms up by scene 2 (“Friedmund darf ich nicht heissen”), his voice gaining in body and expressiveness. By the end of the act, he’s more than sufficiently ardent and heroic. Angela Denoke’s Sieglinde sounds young and noble, with a full and secure top range. In act II, she communicates her character’s panic and shame without scenery chewing, and her exchange with Brünnhilde near the outset of act III is outstanding. Attila Jun’s a threatening, dark-voiced Hunding.


The mood produced by Zagrosek, Behle, and Rootering at the start of the second act is exuberant, and Fricka’s arrival really does seem to spoil a good vibe. Tichina Vaughn is the only disappointment in this cast; her representation of Fricka tends more towards a Margaret Dumont kind of matronliness than an embodiment of wounded dignity. After she’s gone, though, the act moves from strength to strength. Rootering’s monologue is nicely paced, building effectively to “Das Ende—das Ende!” It’s potently clear that this is the defining moment of Wotan’s self-understanding. Likewise, Renate Behle has us appreciate that Brünnhilde learns what she needs to know about romantic love from Siegfried and Sieglinde, not four acts later when a clueless Siegfried awakens her.


The Valkyries are a spirited group vocally, possessing distinctive voices that are easy to tell apart. Rootering is very imposing—the mass of his vocal instrument, without fraying, seems equal to that of Brünnhilde’s eight sisters combined. Wotan delivers his errant daughter’s sentence with all the vehemence of Alberich’s curse in Rheingold , and it’s apparent that Brünnhilde has her work cut out for her to calm down her father. This she does compellingly, beginning with “War es so schmählich.” Rootering’s “Leb Wohl” is as heartfelt as his condemnation 30 minutes earlier.


As is usual with this label’s operas, the libretto, if you need one, is available online. For under $30, Naxos’s Walküre is a bargain. This is big-league Wagner, highly recommended.


FANFARE: Andrew Quint
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Works on This Recording

1.
Die Walküre by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Tichina Vaughn (Mezzo Soprano), Stella Kleindienst (Soprano), Magdalena Schäfer (Soprano),
Nidia Palacios (Mezzo Soprano), Wiebke Göetjes (Soprano), Maria Theresa Ullrich (Mezzo Soprano),
Helene Ranada (Mezzo Soprano), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Soprano), Angela Denoke (Soprano),
Jan-Hendrik Rootering (Bass), Attila Jun (Baritone), Robert Gambill (Tenor),
Margit Diefenthal (Alto), Renate Behle (Soprano)
Conductor:  Lothar Zagrosek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart State Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Length: 224 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Staatsoper Stuttgart, Germany (09/29/2002); Staatsoper Stuttgart, Germany (01/02/2003) 

Sound Samples

Die Walkure: Act I: Vorspiel
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 1: Wes Herd dies auch sei (Siegmund, Sieglinde)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 1: Einen Unseligen labtest du (Siegmund, Sieglinde)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 2: Mud am Herd fand ich den Mann (Sieglinde, Hunding, Siegmund)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 2: Friedmund darf ich nicht heissen (Siegmund, Hunding, Sieglinde)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 2: Die so leidig Los dir beschied (Hunding, Sieglinde, Siegmund)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 2: Ich weiss ein wildes Geschlecht (Hunding)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 3: Ein Schwert verhiess mir der Vater (Siegmund)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 3: Schlafst du, Gast? (Sieglinde, Siegmund)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 3: Wintersturme wichen dem Wonnemond (Siegmund)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 3: Du bist der Lenz (Sieglinde)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 3: O susseste Wonne! O seligstes Weib! (Siegmund, Sieglinde)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 3: War Walse dein Vater, und bist du ein Walsung (Sieglinde, Siegmund)
Die Walkure: Act I Scene 3: Siegmund, den Walsung, siehst du, Weib! (Siegmund, Sieglinde)
Die Walkure: Act II: Vorspiel - Scene 1: Nun zaume dein Ross, reisige Maid! (Wotan)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 1: Hojotoho! Hojotoho! (Brunnhilde)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 1: Der alte Sturm, die alte Muh'! (Wotan, Fricka)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 1: So ist es denn aus mit den ewigen Gottern (Fricka, Wotan)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 1: Was verlangst du? (Wotan, Fricka, Brunnhilde)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 1: Deiner ew'gen Gattin heilige Ehre (Fricka, Wotan)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 2: Schlimm, furcht' ich, schloss der Streit (Brunnhilde, Wotan)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 2: Ein andres ist's (Wotan, Brunnhilde)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 2: So nimmst du von Siegmund den Sieg? (Brunnhilde, Wotan)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 2: So nimm meinen Segen, Niblungen-Sohn! (Wotan, Brunnhilde)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 2: So sah ich Siegvater nie (Brunnhilde)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 3: Raste nun hier; gonne dir Ruh'! (Siegmund, Sieglinde)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 4: Siegmund! Sieh auf mich! (Brunnhilde, Siegmund)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 4: Du sahest der Walkure sehrenden Blick (Brunnhilde, Siegmund)
Die Walkure: Act II Scene 4: So jung und schon erschimmerst du mir (Siegmund, Brunnhilde)

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