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Wagner: Das Rheingold / Struckmann, Clark, Kannen, Et Al

Wagner / Struckmann / Clark / Kannen / Braun
Release Date: 03/22/2005 
Label:  Opus Arte   Catalog #: 910  
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Falk StruckmannKwangchul YounGünter von KannenLioba Braun,   ... 
Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Barcelona Teatro Liceu Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Filmed at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu in 2004.

Region Code: All regions
Picture format: 16:9 Anamorphic
Sound format: DTS Surround, PCM Stereo
Menu languages: English
SUBTITLES: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian.

The prologue to Wagner's giant masterpiece Der Ring des Nibelungen unfolds the beginning of an epic journey when Alberich seizes the ring of gold, its awesome power unleashing an unstoppable story of deceit, destruction, death and transfiguring love.

Filmed at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu in 2004, Harry Kupfer's stunning production first staged in Berlin, and recorded in sumptuous surround sound, numbers among the greatest productions of
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"May the gods be praised: a DVD Rheingold that works...we finally have a decent modern staging on DVD, recorded in vivid surround-sound..." - GRAMOPHONE

Das Rheingold can be a diverting presentation of the Ring’s back story, casually enjoyed before three more strenuous evenings—or it can get right to the heart of the matter. Harry Kupfer’s production is definitely of the latter variety. Kupfer is an experienced Wagnerian, having created a Ring at Bayreuth in the 1980s. The more recent production on this two-DVD set, filmed in 2004 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, was originally introduced at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin. It begins, even before the low E flat sounds in the orchestra, with Wotan walking on stage to break off a branch from the ancient ash tree for his treaty-inscribed spear—Nature violated for the sake of society’s rules. What makes this Rheingold so compelling, though, is the representation of Alberich and Wotan as two more-or-less equal, ambiguous forces... As excellent as Struckmann and von Kannen are, the real spark plug for this Das Rheingold is Graham Clark as Loge. Clark...plays the trickster demigod to perfection... Bertrand de Billy keeps things moving along from the pit... Visually, the production is stunning, with evocative sets, imaginative costumes, and some striking lighting effects, as when the gold first gives off its light in the opening scene. The video transfer is excellent, with luminous colors. Audio-wise, in addition to PCM stereo, there’s a 5.1 DTS multichannel option but no Dolby Digital program. The surround sound is superb, with the voices seemingly embedded in the orchestral fabric, an experience approximating the unique acoustic of Bayreuth’s Festspielhaus. Voices are accurately positioned, in terms of where the singers are located on stage. There’s occasionally direct sound from behind—when Donner summons up some thunder in the final scene, for instance. Subtitles are available not only in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish but also in Catalan.
- Andrew Quint, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Falk Struckmann (Baritone), Kwangchul Youn (Bass), Günter von Kannen (Bass),
Lioba Braun (Alto), Graham Clark (Tenor)
Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Barcelona Teatro Liceu Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Germany 

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