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Ring Without Words (2000)

 NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Price: $9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $9.99  
DVD 1-Disc Version $9.99  

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: German (PCM2 .0), English (PCM2 .0), French (PCM2 .0), Japanese (PCM2 .0)
  • Subtitles: French, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008P76VXU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,883 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A unique synthesis of orchestral music from Wagner's Ring cycle, arranged in a free-flowing and chronological cycle by world-famous conductor Lorin Maazel. Comprised of the four operas of the Ring cycle, "The Ring Without Words" manages to capture the musical mind of one of the most exceptional and gifted composers in history in only seventy minutes. The Berlinker Philharmoniker plays the work with breathtaking depth of expression.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Lorin Maazel considered requests to create a synthesis of Wagner's Ring cycle as a continuous `Ring without Words' twice before finally agreeing to the request made by the recording company, Telarc, in 1987. The resultant 75 minute recording proved to be a big seller and in Maazel's opinion it helped to create a new audience for the operas.

In creating this continuous synthesis Maazel attempted to produce a reduced version which followed strict chronological order and which introduced all the main themes and motifs without adding a single note not written by Wagner. In this he reinforced Wieland Wagner's view (Wagner's Grandson) that the essence of the work lies in the orchestral score.

Weiland Wagner's view is worth considering in this context and can be quoted as stated to Maazel at a rehearsal of the Ring as `The orchestra, that's where it all is - the text behind the text, the universal subconscious that binds Wagner's personae one to another and to the proto-ego of legend ....'

As one who has known The Ring cycle for around 40 years or so this synthesis is both impressive and intriguing. It is also successful in terms of what was attempted as in paragraphs 1-2 above. It is impressive because it covers so many of the key moments and intriguing because it jumps unexpectedly from one key point to another without including what you would expect to hear next! It becomes a sort of quiz - spot the excerpt, and a rather enjoyable one too!

The whole experience is enormously enhanced by the wonderful playing of the Berlin Philharmonic at full strength. Four harps is an impressive sight not to mention vast ranks of strings and incisively burnished brass. If ever an orchestra was born to play this music it has to be this one.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melodic Synopsis of the Ring Soars October 24, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Whenever a great work is summarized, or truncated, the serious reader or listener is skeptical. The Ring in its glorious 16 hour stretch is a feast for the converted, but often is too much for a beginner trying to grapple with a large and complex cultural monument. The Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Lorin Maazel plays direct quotes from the Ring that are lifted from the orchestral score of the four operas in the order in which Wagner composed them. The result is a highly organic presentation of the major leitmotifs and important orchestral interludes of the Ring. As such it is an important achievement which will help in promoting The Ring and winning for it a new generation of admirers.

I appreciate the fact that Maazel in stitching the excerpts together did not alter anything that Wagner wrote, nor did he add any superfluous material.

The result is a compelling sonic introduction to the musical building blocks of The Ring. I would have added subtitles to the film which would identify what elements of the RIng were being presented as they were being performed in real time. This information is available in the notes which come with the DVD, but how much more enllighting they would be if they appeared on the screen as the musicians were playing each excerpt. This improvement would be welcome especially by teachers who use the DVD as part of a lesson plan on Wagner's compositional devices and orchestration.

Highly recommended.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music drama indeed! October 3, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Even if you know nothing about The Ring, or more, you think Wagner is too difficult for you, this Blu-ray will definitely change your mind. I watched and listened to the music assuming I know nothing about The Ring. The drama is in the music itself. If you don't know the plot (a summary is given in the pamphlet accompanying the disc) you will be imagining things that may be happening. It may be a totally different story than the one Wagner created, but it will captivate you during the 80 minutes this compilation lasts. You will probably recognize some of the music as it has been used in movies, commercials, etc.
For those that know the plots and the music, you will go through the whole cycle in 80 minutes. It does not replace the complete cycle with voices, productions and everything that an opera encompass, but it does a very good job at letting us enjoy the music and the drama it represents.
The Blu-ray surround sound is just perfect, in particular for those like me who listen to it in full volume. The camera work adds to the enjoyment of the music. Looking at the players while listening to the music makes you feel you are really there.
I strongly recommend this Blu-ray to those who already know The Ring and in particular to those who don't know it or are hesitant to try Wagner.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and a reference disk October 18, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The music has been covered by reviewers better versed in critiqueing Wagner than me, I am a casual classical listener and love showpieces. This is a reference quality bluray audio and video recording, more amazing that it was recorded 12 years ago. This disk has given me a greater appreciation of Wagner, Maazel the BP orchestra and this piece than ANY other classical music I have purchased for one big reason, I can see which instrument(s) are playing to make the music I am hearing. Highly recommended. This is the best $9 I have EVER spent on clasical music.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It was great!!
The DVD was actually more than I expected. It was great!!!!!!
Published 2 months ago by David E. Corn
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I like it.
Published 2 months ago by Dora
4.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful rendition of the idea of Wagner's Ring Cycle if you...
I love it as it embraces the beauty of the Ring but is not as long! A powerful rendition by Maazel who wrote it and directs this performance.
Published 11 months ago by Margot C Ludbrook
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Key To The Understanding Of The Music of Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner chose to describe his operatic creations as "Music Dramas". And the visual and singing aspects of his operas were vital to the overall appreciation of his works. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jorge
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of disappointing
To start you need to know I've been hooked on the Ring cycle for over 35 years. I know what note follows the previous note. My mind plays the music inside itself. Read more
Published 12 months ago by B Keller
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I already commented in my other review,but I don't "dig" Maazel's conducting.I find it bland and boring. Read more
Published 13 months ago by alain laurent daniel ropa
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting compilation drawn from the Ring
I could have easily given this five stars except that as good as it is there were some transitions that weren't as smooth as I would have hoped. Read more
Published 16 months ago by JohnB
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Lorin Maazel
Listening to The Ring Without Words made me realize that Wagner's Ring was not strictly German. In fact it is mainly based on Norse Legends from Iceland and other Scandinavian... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Zarathustra
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
As I get it I listen it Immediately, the voice is good.
This is my feeling why ask me speak more !
Published 19 months ago by Zhang
4.0 out of 5 stars Opera without words
I'm not a great fan of opera, so this 70 minutes orchestral "overture" is a great alternative. Top standard orchestral concert presentation for both audio and visual.
Published 19 months ago by Martin Wright
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