Wagner: Das Rheingold (2-CD) – Albert Dohmen

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Wagner: Das Rheingold (2-CD) – Albert Dohmen

Composer: Richard Wagner
Artists: Albert Dohmen, Hans-Peter König, Ralf Lukas, Michelle Breedt, Clemens Bieber, Edith Haller, Arnold Bezuyen, Christa Mayer, Andrew Shore, Fionnuala McCarthy, Gerhard Siegel, Ulrike helzel, Kwangchul Youn, Simone Schröder, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Conductor: Christian Thielemann
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Opus Arte
CD Release Date: June 29, 2010

Das Rheingold is the first part of Wagner’s epic four-opera Ring cycle – a work of extraordinary scale. Based loosely on characters from the Norse sagas, it is a work that follows the struggles of gods, heroes, mythical creatures, and the eponymous magical Ring that grants dominion over the entire world. The music is richly textured and grows in complexity as the cycle proceeds - Wagner wrote for an orchestra of gargantuan proportions, including a greatly enlarged brass section with new instruments invented especially for the work.

Recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival in 2008, this production features a host of international stars including Michelle Breedt, Albert Dohmen, and Hans-Peter König. Christian Thielemann, one of the most sought-after conductors in the world, takes the baton with the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra.

“Mr. Thielemann drew a probing, radiant and exhilarating musical performance from this orchestra of dedicated instrumentalists.” (The New York Times)

 



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History

Das Rheingold

Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), composed between 1851-1854, is Richard Wagner’s initial installment of the Ring Cycle. It is the first of four operas in the series followed by Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Siegfried and Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods).

Conceived by Wagner as a prologue to his monumental Der Ring des Nibelungen, Das Rheingold sets forth the dramatic and theoretical issues that play out in the three subsequent music dramas. Thrilling musical and dramatic coups punctuate the confrontations and dialogue. The entire work has a magnificent sweep, containing some of the most striking music in its composer’s vast output.

Set in an unspecified era before history, where the actions of human beings do not yet affect the universal order of things, the story takes place in a mythological world below and above the earth– the depths of the Rhine, the mountaintops and the caves.

Wagner’s epic opera depicts the original sin of theft, the sacred golden treasure, the vanity of the gods, the greed of the Nibelungen, the fratricide of the giants and the building of Valhalla.

The Met’s production of Das Rheingold in its 2018–19 season featured minimal otherworldly landscapes with digital imagery to achieve a modern interpretation of the composer’s masterpiece.

It was performed, as a single opera, at the National Theatre Munich on September 22, 1869, and received its first performance as part of the Ring Cycle at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus on August 13, 1876.

The Met’s landmark production, directed by Robert Lepage, premiered over the course of the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons. The DVD release of its Live in HD presentation won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.    

 

 

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