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Wagner: Gotterdammerung / Gran Teatre del Liceu (2009)

John Treleaven , Gunter von Kannen , Harry Kupfer  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Treleaven, Gunter von Kannen, Deborah Polaski
  • Directors: Harry Kupfer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009
  • Run Time: 275 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00265T7Q0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,477 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In the final part of Wagner's epic cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Siegfried's world descends into falsehood and betrayal before his cursed life is ended by a single spear. Fate ignites the final conflagration, which sets the world to await its new beginning. Filmed at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu in 2004, Harry Kupfer's stunning production, first staged in Berlin, numbers among the greatest productions of modern times and is recorded in sumptuous surround sound.

Sung in German with English, French, German, Spanish, Catalan and Italian subtitles

Siegfried: John Treleaven
Gunther: Falk Struckmannv
Alberich: Günter von Kannen
Hagen: Matti Salminen
Brünnhilde: Deborah Polaski
Gutrune/Third Norn: Elisabete Matos
Waltraute/First Norn: Julia Juon
Second Norn: Leandra Overmann
Woglinde: Cristina Obregón
Wellgunde: María Rodríguez
Flosshilde: Francisca Beaumont


Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Musical Director: Bertrand de Billy
Stage Director: Harry Kupfer
Set Design: Hans Schavernoch
Costume Design: Reinhard Heinrich
Lighting: Franz Peter David
Chorus Master: William Spaulding


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible experience March 8, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I just finished watching this entire cycle and wanted to review Gotterdammerung first. A few comments about the cycle as a whole to begin: This is the most consistently sung, marvelously played, conducted, and beautifully produced cycle I have ever seen! I am a big fan of the Copenhagen Ring, a devout disciple of the Bayreuth/Chereau Cycle, and, yes, even an admirer of the ultra-traditional Met staging. This cycle, as a whole, blows all of the competition out of the water.

Across all four operas the filming is well done and the Blu-ray imaging is wonderful. The sound, as heard on my Boston Acoustics surround system, is very realistic and detailed with the orchestra in front of the singers. There is no spotlighting of the voices and one hears a realistic opera house sound. This is very important since Zubin Mehta draws powerful, passionate, and incredibly accurate playing from the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valencia. This is no small feat since, as a former orchestral musician, I can attest to the extreme difficulty of these scores. The orchestra plays this music as if it is in their blood. All the more amazing if one considers that this is a brand new ensemble made up of players who appear to be mostly very young. Of course, Mehta is an old hand in the pit. His interpretation is sweeping and dramatic.

Gotterdammerung clocks in at about 4 hours and 30 minutes. It always seems just right. The brass playing is spot-on with special mention going to the horn section and individual horn players who perform the various horn calls with a tremendously brassy tone. No mellow horns here! The wind section is amazing...especially the great clarinet duet at the beginning of Act One, Scene Three: beautifully phrased.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stupendous wagner March 3, 2010
Format:Blu-ray
I am a Wagner fan of long standing; I have attended Bayreuth as well as various other international Ring performances. I also have seen most the generally regarded Ring versions on DVD. Excluding the less impressive Valencia Siegfried, my conclusion is that the Rheingold, Walkure and Gotterdammerung performances from this source(as seen on DVD) must stand as my most exciting Wagnerian experience in years.

The performance under discussion sees a continuation of the virtues that I have described in my previous reviews of Rheingold and Walkure. Mehta's conducting is dynamic and his shaping of the musical line is unerring. The singing is generally excellent; Matti Salminen is an appropriately malevolent Hagen and Lance Ryan (a name new to me), while hardly a Melchior or a Windgassen, turns in a solidly sung Siegfried. It is a pleasure to newly encounter a firm voiced heldentenor; this is certainly a rare species in today's vocal firmament. The undoubted star of the show must be Jennifer Wilson's powerful and steely singing in the role of Brunnhilde.

The production in this last opera of the cycle becomes very modern. It is punkish at times and is peppered with humorous and sardonic touches. The filmed projections, somewhat busy but always appropriate, adds tremendously to the visual experience. The amazing final scene is a fitting ending to wondrous production. The busy realisation of the action might not appeal to those that like their Wagner in the style of old. It is worth noting that a friend,who is a great Wagner buff, found the business on the stage during the live performance quite distracting. I think that the filmic production on the DVD version might be an improvement.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An end of the Gods to end them all! May 8, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I was doubtful about this before watching, how on earth could these Spaniards, with no significant Wagner history, keep it up. I had had reservations over the visual casting of Brünnhilde in both Walküre and Siegfried and just felt this last gigantic conclusion might prove a bit too much. I need not have worried! In fact Brünnhilde was one of the two highlights of the event. Her mighty physique and non nubile appearance may have been of some concern in the earlier parts but not here. As a weary and worldly wise Walkyrie preparing for the doom laden inferno her power and gutsy determination to see it through was an asset. Her scene with the equally aging Waltraute was magnificent. Two over the hill maidens perhaps but they were NOT going to be outdone by Hagen! The other tour de force was Matti Salminen as the evil Hagen. His scene with Alberich was particularly well done. The Rhein daughters were their ever sexy selves and the rest of the cast were all up to the mark.

I did not care very much for the stockbroker suits of the Gibichungs although Hagen's make-up was particularly stunning. More like a Yakuza gangster or an up to no good Oyakata than a Shanghai stockbroker in my view! The special effects were similar in style to the earlier dramas and even if they could not quite match the jaw-dropping impression made by Rheingold they were still pretty good. Again I felt the orchestra and Mehta struggled to deliver that last punch but aided by a splendid recording they were more than adequate. I did not care for the way Siegfied's funeral march was handled - too much of Mehta - but that is just a personal view.

As a set this Ring is remarkable and the bar has been lifted to unforseen heights for any future Blu-ray Rings.
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