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Wagner: Die Walkure [Blu-ray]

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In the words of the prestigious German weekly 'Die Zeit,' the stage production of Wagner's 'Rheingold' and 'Walküre' by La Fura dels Baus 'quite possibly shows us the path that musical theater will be taking in the future.' There's no doubt about it: the Catalan city of Valencia is setting new accents in 21st-century opera not only with its spectacular new theater designed by Santiago Calatrava, but also with its visually transfixing production of Wagner's 'Ring' staged by Carlos Padrissa and his theater group La Fura dels Baus. The Barcelona-based Fura blends music, dance, acrobatics and technology into unforgettable stage events of sometimes raw but always captivating power. The Fura made its breakthrough in the classical establishment with its production of Berlioz's 'La damnation de Faust' at the 1999 Salzburg Festival. The Fura's fertile visual fantasy and endless combinations of savvy video technology, lighting and props (often formed of human beings) are predestined for Wagner's visionary expressive world. Wagner's dream of a Gesamtkunstwerk becomes reality as this shape-shifting sequence of tableaux unfolds before our eyes: 3D computer projections that evoke computer games, organic structures built of athletic performers that recall the 'Cirque du soleil,' and much more. In this production, 'the visual codes of the digital era become elemental and dazzlingly employed means of narration' (Opernwelt). Musically, the first two parts of Wagner's tetralogy 'Das Rheingold' and 'Die Walküre' are on a par with productions from historically more prestigious opera houses. Part Three, 'Siegfried,' is scheduled for June 2008, and Part Four, 'Götterdämmerung,' for June 2009. Legendary conductor Zubin Mehta leads world-class Wagner singers such as Peter Seiffert, Petra-Maria Schnitzer and Matti Salminen, and promising young talents that include Jennifer Wilson (Brünnhilde), John Daszak (Loge) and Juha Uusitalo (Wotan), whom the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung hailed as a new 'Number One among the opera gods.' Equally outstanding is the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, an ensemble of top musicians hand-picked by Music Director Lorin Maazel.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Zubin Mehta, Peter Seiffert, Matti Salminen, Petra-Maria Schnitzer, Juha Uusitalo
  • Directors: Carlus Padrissa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Classical, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: German (DTS 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French, English, Spanish, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 245 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002S8ON8M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,211 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By I. Martinez-Ybor VINE VOICE on February 21, 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The opening bars of Die Walküre immediately establish the danger and excitement in the tale to follow. Zubin Mehta's first downbeat conjures up that tempestuous, ferocious flight, as stage projections show running wolves, passing trees, the legs of a man fleeing whom we eventually see stumbling into Hunding's dwelling. Peter Seifert is the Siegmund, Petra Maria Schnitzer Sieglinde, Matti Salminen Hunding. The stage is dominated with the liveliest tree I have ever seen in a Ring production, always changing hues, and importing an alphabet when Sieglinde gives the name Siegmund to her beloved brother. Costumes are eloquently primitive, Siegliende appearing bound by a rope around her neck, clearly Hunding's chattel that must not get away. The imaginative vision of La Fura des Baus with which we first got acquainted in Rheingold continues and grows in this Walküre. The second act brings back the strong, riveting Wotan of Juha Usitalo and the Fricka of Ana Larsson. It also introduces the powerful Brünhilde of Jennifer Wilson, and without reservations one can honestly say: at last, a Brünhilde! One of the joys of this ring is that the voices are firm, secure, in all cases fresh and young (well, we know Salminen is mature, but the voice is rock-solid and overwhelming, as if the years hadn't passed). The singing is always musical, subtle when called upon by the text, and soaring when they need be. The ride of the Walkyres is as close to a ride as one has ever seen (symbolically achieved)..... with an element of terror in their stride. It is all quite astounding. The final Wotan-Brünhilde scene is eloquent and powerful, with the scenic background, always dynamic, reflecting the momentous parting of father-god and human-to-be daughter.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 12, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I normally resist any production that deviates far from traditional concepts. On the face of it therefore, it would seem that the use of raised platforms for the Gods with mechanical hoists operated by on-stage scenery movers during the singing, plus trapeze artists and other gadgetry such as Loge's scooter transport, would be totally repellent. However, despite all of this, the concept seems to work - at least, for me!

This is due, to a very large extent, to the consistently high standard of singing and orchestral playing throughout. The musical values of the singers in this production can only be described as outstanding and, in my opinion, there is not a weak point to be noted anywhere in this regard. It therefore seems to me that it would be invidious to single out particular performers for particular praise in this overall review of the complete set.

The use of high quality projected backdrops to create scenarios or to imply long journeys, such as the descent from and return to the world of the Gods, are also very impressive and surely an advance in technology that would appeal to Wagner himself. This sense of realism would be hard to match in any `normal' stage production without using this modern technology.

The use of mechanical hoists to move the Gods about on raised platforms by on-stage scenery movers during the singing and as mentioned at the beginning of this review are, for me, the most invasive parts to my enjoyment of this production. However, I have found that upon repeated viewing, one adjusts and accepts the concept given the wealth of virtues otherwise present.

The camera work and imaging are both of a very high standard as one would expect from an HD recording and the same can be said of the sound which is frequently spectacular.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ivor E. Zetler on March 5, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
I am wildly enthusiastic about this performance. The singing is uniformly excellent, Mehta proves to be a superb conductor and his orchestra play like angels. The busy production, frequently involving creative and colorful back projections, seemed to my eyes to be intelligent and enhancing of Wagner's vision. It will not be to everyone's taste but it is a performance that demands to be experienced by the many fans of this inexhaustable masterpiece. Excellent sound and visuals. Please see my more comprehensive review given for the non Blu-ray version.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
And yet another superb release in the mind-blowing Valencia production of Wagner's "Ring Cycle." This time, the second in the Cycle, "Die Walkure" features flying Valkyries and Gods and staged by La Fura Dels Baus, the brilliant mime company whose members "become" various settings. Stunning projections. Mesmerizing Magic Fire finale--- when all the "tech" becomes moot!
All in all, maybe a bit too much of "a little bit..." but still lots of fun, very well sung by a first-class cast,including Jennifer Wilson as the larger-than-life titular Valkyrie, and played mightily by the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana led by maestro Zubin Mehta! Gorgeous blu-ray with two choices of stunning lossless audio tracks! Much fun for the slightly adventurous Wagnerian opera lover.
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Wagner: Die Walkure [Blu-ray]
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