Wagner: Das Rheingold (2-CD) – James Rutherford

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Description

Wagner: Das Rheingold (2-CD) – James Rutherford

Composer: Richard Wagner
Artists: James Rutherford, David Jerusalem, Bernhard Berchtold, Raymond Very, Katarzyna Kuncio, Sylvia Hamvasi, Ramona Zaharia, Duisburger Philharmoniker
Conductor: Axel Kober
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Avi
CD Release Date: May 15, 2020

The Rhine is where Richard Wagner’s cycle of operas Der Ring des Nibelungen begins and ends, and it was beside the Rhine in 1851 that the composer first dreamed of this visionary and monumental work. Even if Wagner’s plans for a festival would ultimately be realized in an entirely different part of Germany, the performance of a Ring on the Rhine will always remain something very special. And where better to make this happen than at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein?



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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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