Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Jaap van Zweden (14CD)

Current Stock:
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden

The big event this year!

Wagner’s visionary Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelungs) was first performed as a cycle of four operas in 1876. Its mythic plot examines the relationship between love and earthly power through the agency of a ring which confers ultimate power on its bearer. One of the most sustained and remarkable achievements in all music, the tetralogy is performed by an all-star cast, conducted by the new music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden, in performances that have been critically acclaimed worldwide for their ‘thrilling sense of drama’ (The Sunday Times, London).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Wagner: Das Rheingold
Wagner: Die Walküre
Wagner: Götterdämmerung
Wagner: Siegfried

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Matthias Goerne (Wotan), Petra Lang (Brünnhilde - Die Walküre), Heidi Melton (Sieglinde/Brünnhilde - Siegfried), Gun-Brit Barkmin (Brünnhilde - Götterdämmerung), Daniel Brenna (Siegfried - Götterdämmerung), Simon O’Neill (Siegfried - Siegfried)

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The big event this year is the release of the completed Ring Cycle of operas with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jaap van Zweden.

The Leader of the Gods makes and then breaks a corrupt deal, the consequences of which inexorably bring their world crashing down around them. Forget the popular image of cardboard characters, horned helmets, and dull eventlessness: the real plot of the Ring is staggeringly complex and deeply morally ambivalent. The—mostly—unethical machinations of the characters are set to some of the most breathtakingly expressive and sophisticated music ever written.

When watching this vast fable unfurl in the opera house, trying to keep track of who is shafting whom, it is easy to miss much of the musical detail, which is where the CD comes into its own, permitting repeated listening with the synopsis in front of you. Or not—just settling into the river of vocal and orchestral sound can be an overwhelming experience. And there are fourteen hours of it...!

What has come to be known as the “Hong Kong Ring” has received many accolades, [including] the BBC Music Magazine Opera Choice, and features some of the brightest talents in the opera world today. Appropriately, the separate operas are also available in Blu-ray Audio.

- The Classical Music Collector, Chris Dench