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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen [Blu-ray]

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

La Fura del Baus, famous for their opening ceremony of the Olympic games in Barcelona and opera
stagings in Salzburg, Ruhrtriennale, etc., use in their groundbreaking Ring 3D computer projections that
evoke computer games and organic structures built of athletic performers that recall the 'Cirque du soleil'. This production from 2007/2009 at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia, Spain, incl. world-class Wagner
singers such as Salminen, Kapellmann, Mayer, Schnitzer and promising young talents like Jennifer Wilson
(Brünnhilde), John Daszak (Loge) and Juha Uusitalo (Wotan)

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Juha Uusitalo, Anna Larson, Lance Ryan, John Daszak, Christa Mayer
  • Directors: Zubin Mehta
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2010
  • Run Time: 1056 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00424NWIW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,536 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Ultrarunner on December 20, 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Wagner wrote the libretto of the Ring backwards and the music from the Rheingold forwards.He wrote about his Cycle that "how can he hope to have his intuitive perceptions understood by others, when he himself stands before an enigma and can suffer the same illusions as anyone else." (Lee 1994:Limelight editions New York pg 98). He used Germanic and Nordic Myths, added ideas of his own,plus based the concept of a festival on the Ancient Greek ideal. At the time of writing the Libretto, Wagner was under the influence of the Philosopher Feuerbach. "Polytheistic religions, he argues,express man's dependence on Nature and personify natural forces".(Oxford 1995:MJL).Man attributes to God his own feelings.We need to replace the love of God for the love of Man and our faith in ourselves.Then Wagner switched his ideas to Schopenhauer. This Philosopher was influenced by Plato, Kant, the Hindu Upanishads and Buddhism. He saw the world as evil and horrible. Will was the cause of Mans problem.If we can lose Will like the Saint who thinks life is an illusion, and we can all become this way, then Will shall cease to exist. Very much against Wagners way of life, as he loved to consume. This way of thinking did influence his later music in the Ring. Why, I do not know. Wagner himself believed in Reincarnation and had read books on Buddhism and Hinduism.He wrote a Sketch for a proposed opera called Die Sieger, based on an incident in Buddhas life. In Parsival Reincarnation is mentioned in the Libretto regarding Kundry. Father Owen Lee in his marvellous book on the Ring, writes that the Ring is about us. A World of many layers, the Human soul. For me the Ring can be staged in so many ways and then its meaning depends on our own understanding of ourselves.Read more ›
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Richard on November 30, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There's a puzzle here and it is primarily Zubin Mehta. You would expect a fast,rousing performance from him. Yet that's not what we get. What we get is something quite different. I first noticed it in Rheingold where Mime sings about life in the past. Mehta seems to be highlighting this as a little aria in itself. But then in Walkure he allows Seiffert (Siegmund) to hold "Walse" an incredibly long time. The love duet has rubato all over the place. And throughout the cycle when there is an opportunity the singer will milk the high note for all it's worth. Even the unwritten hold in Brunnhilde's lament in Act 3 of Walkure which used to be regularly done, but has disappeared as singers and conductors hewed to the score, is here restored.
Then there are those songs spread thorughout the score. Mehta has highlighted passages which now reveal themselves as old fashioned arias and duets. Consider Siegfried: there's Siegfried's song to freedom, the forging song, the duet between Mime and Alberich in Act 2, and, of course, the love duet. As GB Shaw pointed out by the time we hit Gotterdammerung we are back in the arms of Grand Opera.
So what gives? Where other conductors focus upon music drama, Mehta highlights all the musical forms embedded in the score. Then it hit me. These guys are playing the Ring as if it were bel canto - beautiful singing first, drama second.
What's more they are staging and playing the Ring as opera seria - that form of opera popular in the baroque. Opera seria starts with a mythical plot (gods and demons) and tells the story through recitative and arias. The opera is a string of arias held together by recitative. Opera developed from this form into the opera we know today with heightened drama and arias, duets, trios , etc.
Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Paul Pelkonen on April 25, 2011
Format: DVD
This 2009 release of the complete Ring, filmed in 2008 in Valencia, Spain under the baton of Zubin Mehta is a compelling, visually arresting, and best of all, well-sung version of Wagner's mythological cycle. It should appeal to Wagnerians who want to hear the next generation of singers, and those curious opera-lovers who want to see what a modern Ring looks like.

This is not a traditional production. It incorporates dance, machinery, and digital projections. These last look fantastic on DVD: a centerpiece of this hyper-visual staging. But behind all the flash and java is a solid retelling of the myths, steered by Mr. Mehta's steady hand in the pit and Carlus Padrissa's innovative (but not intrusive) directorial ideas.

La Fura del Bas is a Catalan theater troupe: kind of an Iberian answer to Cirque de Soleil. Here, their dancers serve as scenery, props, and even buildings, combining to form the gates of Valhalla in an astonishing image that ends Das Rheingold. The other key element of La Fura's staging is a set of eight digital projection monitors, that serve as the mountains, the Rhine river, and the flames as Götterdämmerung blazes to a close.

The digital projections (by visual artist Franc Aleu) serve as visual reminders throughout the cycle, accompanying Wagner's leitmotiv system of musical memory triggers. Mr. Aleu also incorporates cyberpunk concepts in this Ring. For example, Nibelheim (reached through the caldera of Mount Etna) is depicted as a complex, ever-spinning machine. The sword is a three-dimensional electronic idea, floating in cyberspace before it actually appears in the hand.
Read more ›
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen [Blu-ray]
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