Wagner: Die Walküre (4-CD) – Sir Simon Rattle

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Wagner: Die Walküre (4-CD) – Sir Simon Rattle

Composer: Richard Wagner
Artists: Stuart Skelton, Eric Halfvarson, James Rutherford, Eva Maria Westbroek, Iréne Theorin, Elisabeth Kulman, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Conductor: Simon Rattle
Number of Discs: 4
Label: BR Klassik
CD Release Date: February 18, 2020

To follow its November 2015 recording of Das Rheingold, BR Klassik now continues Wagner’s Ring cycle with Die Walküre. The concert performances were recorded on February 8 and 10, 2019 in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz.

With his Rheingold, Sir Simon Rattle decisively disproved the longstanding claim that he and Wagner were unsuited to one another. This next collaboration between the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the British conductor not only features a team of first-rate Wagner singers but also reveals once again how well Rattle understands and interprets Wagner’s music.

Wotan, the father of the gods, is sung by the English bass-baritone James Rutherford; Elisabeth Kulman is back as his argumentative wife Fricka; Eric Halvarson, who was the giant Fafner in Rattle’s Rheingold, now sings the part of the evil Hunding. New additions to the star-studded ensemble of soloists include Irène Theorin as Wotan’s favorite daughter Brunnhilde, and Stuart Skelton and Eva-Maria Westbroek as the incestuous twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde.



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History

Die Walküre

Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) composed between 1851-1856 is the second opera in Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. The four operas in the series include Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Siegfried and Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods).

This opera has long stood on its own as a masterpiece of extraordinary powerful theater. Part of its appeal lies in its focus on many of the Ring’s most interesting characters, who follow their destinies to some of Wagner’s most remarkable music.

In this three-act opera, Wotan, the ruler of the gods, has nine daughters, each born from one of nine goddesses. They are the Valkyrie, outfitted in the iconic steel helmets, spears and shields tasked with selecting brave soldiers, who have died on the battlefield and bringing them to Valhalla, the castle of the gods.

In Act 2, Brünnhilde, the heroine of the Ring Cycle, appears and sings “Ho, yo, to ho!” her famous battle cry. The prelude “Ride of the Valkyries” in Act 3 is perhaps the most famous in Wagner’s operas.

The Met’s production of Die Walküre 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 June 26,1870, and received its first performance as part of the Ring Cycle at he Bayreuth Festspielhaus on August 14,1876.

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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