Wagner: Siegfried (3-CD) – Sir Simon Rattle

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Description

Wagner: Siegfried (3-CD) – Sir Simon Rattle

Composer: Richard Wagner
Artists: Simon O’Neill, Peter Hoare, Michael Volle, Georg Nigl, Franz-Josef Selig, Danae Kontora, Gerhild Romberger, Anja Kampe, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle
Number of Discs: 3
Label: BR Klassik
Release Date: September 5, 2023

Following the 2015 release of Das Rheingold – the “preliminary evening” of Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle – and Die Walküre in 2019, BR-KLASSIK now releases Siegfried as the “second day” of the enthusiastically received tetralogy under Sir Simon Rattle, recorded live on February 3 and 5, 2023 at Munich’s Isarphilharmonie im Gasteig. With Das Rheingold, Rattle decisively refuted the longstanding claim that he and Wagner were not a good match, and with Die Walküre, he dispelled any remaining doubts. His recent performance of Siegfried – with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and a first-class lineup of Wagner singers – proves yet again how well the conductor understands and interprets Wagner’s music. 

Siegfried tells the story of how the hero forges his own sword, gains invulnerability by slaying the dragon and bathing in its blood, and finally conquers Brünnhilde. The outstanding soloists include Simon O’Neill (Siegfried), Peter Hoare (Mime), Michael Volle (The Wanderer/Wotan), and Anja Kampe (Brünnhilde). Moreover, orchestral highlights of Siegfried such as the lyrical “Forest Murmurs” or the prelude to Act III are brilliantly performed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. 

According to Maestro Rattle: “Siegfried contains some of the most dramatic, richly-colored and enchanting music Wagner ever wrote. I am looking forward immensely to the continuation of our Ring, together with the greatest singers one could ever wish for.”



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History

Siegfried

Siegfried, composed between 1858-1871, is Richard Wagner’s third installment of the Ring Cycle. The four operas in the series include
Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Siegfried and Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods).

It is the coming-of- age story of the ultimate hero and his role in the struggle for supreme power. The title role is especially daunting. He is portrayed as an impetuous teenager who knows no fear, and his vocal lines encompass a vast musical range—from heroic to reflective to tender and romantic.

This three-act epic is set in mythological times, when gods and other creatures contend for dominion over the earth.

Orphaned at birth, Siegfried learns his true identity and fulfills his destiny to repair the Nothung sword, kill the dragon and eventually jump through a circle of fire to become Brünnhilde’s savior and lover.

Siegfried’s role is one of the most difficult in opera for a tenor as he sings for almost four hours within a wide range of dynamics, from the heroic to the reflective to the romantic.

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

 It premiered at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus on August 16, 1876, as part of the first complete performance of The Ring Cycle.

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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