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Der Kobold (2005)

Nicholas Isherwood , Rebecca Broberg  |  NR |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nicholas Isherwood, Rebecca Broberg, Regina Mauel, Andreas Mitschke, Achim Hoffmann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Marco Polo
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 206 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NZA0FQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,801 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Rebecca Broberg, Regina Mauel, Andreas Mitschke, Volker Horn, and Achim Hoffmann star in this 2005 production of the Wagner opera with Frank Strobel conducting the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Correction, Reflection, Recommendation August 16, 2009
Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 - 13 February 1883) died when his only son Siegfried Helferich Richard Wagner (6 June 1869 - 4 August 1930) was going on fourteen years of age, not six, as a previous reviewer erroneously reported. There is no doubt that Siegfried was a veritable bundle of psychological contradictions, growing up as he did and living his entire life in the shadow of his father (a creative, penetrating thinker on a wide variety of subjects, sturdy poet, unequalled composer of musical-dramatic works and -- let it be granted: a bit mad in the bargain) and beneath the stern arm and visage of his mother, Cosima (25 December 1837 - 1 April 1930) the long-lived daughter of Franz Liszt (22 October 1811 - 31 July 1886) magisterial keeper of the flame at Bayreuth until Siegfried's ascendancy to control over the Festspielhaus, and herself another veritable festival of Freudian delights, whom Siegfried survived by only four months. It is by no means likely that Cosima ever accepted her son's homosexuality.

Still, similarities in the subject material of Der Kobold (The Goblin) and the far lovelier (and more dramatic, and shorter!) Schwartzschwannenreich (Realm of the Black Swan) may arise more from the nature of the adult-oriented fairy tales to which Siegfried Wagner was attracted than of any particular psychological disturbances from which he may have suffered. Horns, spears, swords, self-sacrificing women, and the whole redemption-through-love-and-compassion business figure prominently in Richard Wagner's works but are not, in and of themselves, manifestations of profound mental problems on the part of that composer. Rather, they suggest a certain universality of symbols inherent in the stories and ideas that he sought to dramatize.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An undiscovered Gem May 31, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What can I say about this DVD of a rare opera by Richard Wagner's son, performed in Fürth, (with its Meistersinger connection)?

Judge it on its own merits. Der Kobold isn't by Richard Wagner, nor does it claim to be.

I'm a Wagnerite. I've never heard any of Siegfried Wagner's works, but became interested following a recent lecture by the Wagner Society of New York. This recording seems to be the only one of his works available on DVD, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

I'm very glad I did.

The music has moments of surpassing beauty. The plot, a strange gloomy Bergian mixture of psychology and mythology, is disturbing and compelling. The use of grotesque puppets to depict the Kobolds of the title - the lost souls of dead children - could have been incongruous, but is strangely effective. The term 'late romantic' may begin to describe the overall effect, but like most labels, it falls short of the actual gesamtkunstwerk.

The individual performances, particularly by Rebecca Broberg, as Verena, and Young Jae Park as the voice of Seelchen, were excellent.

This is a modern production, with an obligatory helping of Regietheater, but since I've never seen a 'traditional' version, if such a thing exists, I can only judge it on its own merits. It was very good - the action matched the text and music, which is an unusual bonus these days.

According to the jacket, the DVD production was recorded in two locations - The Stadttheater Fürth and the Stadthalle Bayreuth. Both are fairly small venues, favouring smaller voices, and I certainly couldn't tell where any individual scene had been recorded. The sound quality was good, with unobtrusive surround sound.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The son not so like the father May 3, 2009
By Richard
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Siegfried Wagner had enough material here for two or more operas. And that is the major problem. How can you possibly stretch a fairly tale into a 3 hour plus opera?
He can spin a melody. But his inflluence is more Humperdinck (his teacher) than Wagner. And when he gets to a dramatic crisis you can hear papa bleeding from the score. One scene has the distinct color of the Todesverkundigun from Walkure. This is a servicable work. But it would have been better at half the time.
Where papa used length to give his characters monologues, Siegfried uses it to spin more plo and that the opera doesn't need. The story is hard to follow especially with the modernized production. The story tells of a goblin, but he seems a small part of the picture.
The singers and the orchestra are quite good. They do the work more than justise. I am glad I got one of my secret wishes to hear what Sieggy could do. And he is good, but out of the competition against many other neglected operas.
If you are a Wagner maniac. Giulty. You will have to sample this. But I won't be returning to Der Kobold again.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Son of Richard Wagner July 6, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
To be the son of Richard Wagner is no simple matter. Undaunted by his heritage, Siegfried Wagner managed to compose more operas than his father, most of them rarely performed and almost totally forgotten. Der Kobold (The Goblins) is the first opera of Siegfried Wagner available in DVD, although other titles are available in CD format.

The subject matter, murder of new born babies, is extremely difficult to swallow. After watching the opera, I wandered what redemptive value - if any- it offered. Add to this the totally unremarkable music performed by a second rate opera company, and you can understand why Siegfried Wagner operas are doomed to be forgotten as soon as they are performed.

Siegfried Wagner seems to be obsessed by the dark topic of baby murderers.
He has another opera, Schwarzschwanenreich (The Kingdom of the Black Swan), that is also centered on the same topic. I wonder if a psychiatric study of Siegfried Wagner would be warranted. The main interest of such a study would be to shed more light on his father, who died when Siegfried was only six years old.
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