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Wagner: Das Rheingold

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The La Scala Rheingold in May 2010 inaugurated Guy Cassiers Ring Cycle and introduces a completely new paradigm to this work. While before him Patrice Chereau had laid his focus on a historical analysis from 1870 to 1930 Germany, Guy Cassiers' Ring unfolds from our own present-day moment; it [takes] place in 'the now,' the Jetztzeit, placing our present and our future into the context of the promises and curses that we have inherited from history.

Product Details

  • Actors: Youn, Cassiers, Barenboim, Pape, Kranzle
  • Directors: __
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: September 24, 2013
  • Run Time: 163 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00E3D7XUA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,800 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
From Amazon.co.uk-I was ranked 408.

According to Steinberg in this Rheingold booklet,the mythic value of the Rhine,is the world before language and before meaning. The transition to the human world happens abruptly with the entrance of the first Rhine maiden,and the disruption comes as a shock. Something has been lost:the state of nature;the world before time. It is as if we had been given a momentary re-entry into a biological Eden,into our own infancy. We only understand this when it is over,and we understand this through the melancholy of loss which informs all earthly reality. What kind of human world are we in after Alberich's theft of the gold? The ring then examines three patterns of Human desire;lust,love;power;knowledge.However,Lee states" Original sinners of myth are ambivalent figures. Their primal offenses bring evil into the world but have ultimately positive effects. The wrestling of consciousness from Nature is associated with guilt,but the step had to be taken if the human race was to break with mothering Nature,keeping it unaware. The stage director and set designer Guy Cassiers views on Rhinegold and the Ring,require a lengthy explanation,so I will write the review first. I do own 10 Bluray and DVD rings,as well as Bohm,Solti,Keilberth 1955 Ring,also,the first ever recorded 1926-1932,cond Blech and Coates-Gala Vol 1&2. So I can state this Rhinegold could suit the traditionalists.

The staging is not over complicated. The Rhinemaidens have water beneath their feet and in the background. The next scene is a green rocky place. The underground is grey and red. Above ground there is a moon over the darken background,with what I think is Valhalla. When Erda comes into the scene,she stands tall above everyone else behind a dark Ultramarine background.
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Format: Blu-ray
The true musical merit and the importance of Das Rheingold is often underestimated or at least overlooked on account of its designation as merely the Prologue to the three parts proper of Wagner's epic Ring saga but it's essential to establish a precise balance and a vision that will propel the audience compellingly into this unique musical journey. The first part of the new Teatro alla Scala Ring, created in 2010, fulfils that remit well, with Daniel Barenboim managing proceedings with precision and drive from the orchestra pit and director Guy Cassiers fulfilling all the requirements to establish a suitable tone that fully supports the work.

I don't know what Wagner would have made of ballet being incorporated into Das Rheingold, but choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's work does help to draw out those deeper premonitory resonances within the work. In addition to the fine performance of the work on the surface level of the stage direction and the singing, the greater significance of what is being played out here is projected in abstract shimmering colours, textures and shadows on the background and in the movements of the dancers. On a straightforward level that means that there are giant-sized shadow counterparts for the giants Fasolt and Fafner, while the dancers meld together to form the Tarnhelm and its transformations, but the use of lighting, colours and abstract shimmering projections of water, rocks and gold also manage to convey a brooding mythological quality to the locations with premonitions of the dark consequences to the epic events that are about to unfold.
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Format: Blu-ray
I must qualify this review by saying that this is the only performance of "Das Rheingold" that I have seen or heard so I have no basis of comparison. I am 74 years old and I am very familiar with the standard Italian and most well know German operas, but I have resisted Wagner as being too boring and too complex for me to tackle.

Recently, I decided to give it a real shot and try to became familiar with "The Ring". I bought the Barenboim "La Scala" set as the reviews were pretty good and it was a new Blu Ray so I thought it would at least look and sound good. It was also sold at a good price.

I was correct about the look and sound which were fine although I could not hear much from my rear speakers in the 5.1 dts so I switched to stereo and played it back decoded into surround with a somewhat better rear channel effect.

Within the bounds of my limited experience with The Ring, I thought the performance was thrilling in many ways with Pape and Youn being the most outstanding, but all the rest also very fine. I didn't see any real weakness in the cast. The constant ballet lent a sort of a semi erotic nature to the proceedings and they sort of acted like mimes. The video and lighting effects were very effective adding to the fantasy of the opera. I thought the "Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla" was an absolutely thrilling conclusion to the music drama.The one thing I thought very strange was the change of the "magic ring" to the "magic glove; I don't understand what possessed the change from "The Ring Cycle" to "The Glove Cycle". In any case I no longer fear attacking the cycle and I look forward to viewing the rest of the cycle.

Just remember, this is my first experience with "The Ring" (Besides a terrible St Clair, Weimer "Siegfried" that I have seen but don't count and view as just a bad anomaly) so my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt..
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