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Wagner / Götterdämmerung (BD) [Blu-ray] [jewel_box]
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Götterdämmerung, the final instalment of Wagner s Ring of the Nibelung, is a story of human passions. Two essentially benevolent creatures, involved with and possibly doomed by their traffic with the gods, find treachery and evil in the world of the humans, and are ruined by the dark side of humanity. Iréne Theorin, acclaimed worldwide for her portrayal of Wagner s heroines, stars as Brünnhilde opposite Lance Ryan, who continues his radiant portrayal of the tragic hero Siegfried. The strong cast also includes Mikhail Petrenko as the dark antagonist Hagen and Johannes Martin Kränzle, who once again shines as his father Alberich. Opera star Waltraud Meier has a memorable appearance as Brünnhilde s sister Waltraute. With this 2013 recording of Götterdämmerung, the musically and visually compelling Scala Ring Cycle by Daniel Barenboim and Guy Cassiers was completed and proved to be one of the highlights of the Richard Wagner bicentenary.
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Nous ne sommes plus au Walhalla, les Nornes le savent bien, le lien avec les Dieux est rompu.
Brünnhilde a été rejetée au rang des simples mortels, Siegfried a vaincu Wotan, en brisant sa lance d’un coup d’épée, mais il n’en reste pas moins humain. De plus son esprit aventureux et son inconscience vont le jeter dans le monde obscur des Gibichungen.
Il part à la recherche de sa part d’ombre, chère à Carl Gustav Jung :
« L’ombre est quelque chose d’inférieur, de primitif, d’inadapté et de malencontreux, mais non d’absolument mauvais. »
Cette quête va se révéler désastreuse car l’innocent Siegfried n’est pas prêt à découvrir cette part de lui-même que Wagner va masquer avec filtres et autres sortilèges.
Dans cette troisième journée, ce n’est pas uniquement le Crépuscule des Dieux que nous dépeint Wagner; mais aussi celui de l’Homme !
Le salut, comme souvent dan la psyché wagnérienne, viendra de la FEMME. : L’éternel féminin rédempteur !
LES SCÉNATISTES :
Le duo Guy Cassiers, à la mise en scène, Enrico Bagnoli aux lumières, nous offrent une magistrale réalisation habitée par les mystères de cette partition.Lire la suite ›
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There is at least one important aspect to the La Scala Ring that has remained consistent and left no cause for concern about how the final segment would play out, and that's Daniel Barenboim's contribution. The sheer scale and ambition of Wagner's masterwork means that Götterdämmerung has to bring together all the earlier themes and leitmotifs the earlier works and bear the conceptual weight of the Ring as a whole. It's an enormous musical challenge, but Barenboim has been remarkably consistent and adaptable to Guy Cassiers' concept and he conducts the orchestra of La Scala through the varied tones of this particular work with a beautiful fluidity and a rising sense of urgency. It feels of a whole in a way that Götterdämmerung rarely does, consolidating those elements elaborated in the earlier parts into something much grander than their constituent parts.
There has also been a strong consistency to the look and feel of Guy Cassiers' production design, even if any deeper meaning or significance has been hard to determine. The source of certain imagery that has cropped up regularly throughout the cycle however is revealed here - in all its glory at the finale - to have been inspired by Jef Lambeaux's relief sculpture 'Les passions humaines'. This certainly gives substance to imagery and the ideas the director has been working with and leads to an immensely powerful conclusion, finding a strong visual concept that supports and illustrates Wagner's music and ideas, even if it doesn't add anything new to our understanding of the meaning of Der Ring des Nibelungen. In itself it's also a stunning state-of-the-art visual spectacle that has the look and conceptual qualities of an art installation. In that environment, there's inevitably an awful lot of standing and declaiming out to the theatre and very little interaction or dramatic interplay between the characters, but with Barenboim conducting this is every bit as "momumental" as Götterdämmerung ought to be.
Sadly here we lose Nina Stemme, who made such an impression as Brünnhilde in Die Walkure and Siegfried, but Irène Theorin proves to be a more than worthy replacement. She's perhaps not as strong across at the lower end of the range, but her top notes hit home in a performance that is full of fire. Just about passable in Siegfried, Lance Ryan's weaknesses are however cruelly exposed in the more open and testing environment of Götterdämmerung. His delivery is sometimes good, particularly in shorter phrasing, but any long notes waver around wildly. I'm not sure that there are many heldentenors around nowadays though who are capable of holding down this role, and at least he appears fully engaged in the role. Mikhail Petrenko sings Hagen well, although his delivery is a little too Russian in declamation. The other roles are more than competently played by a strong cast that includes Gerd Grochowski, Johannes Martin Kränzle (as a disturbingly distorted version of his already sinister Alberich), Waltraud Meier and Anna Samuil.
A four hour forty-five minute performance is a lot to get onto a single disk, even a BD50 Blu-ray, but the image and sound quality hold up alongside the fine presentation of the other releases in this cycle. Like those, the BD is region-free, with subtitles in German, English, French, Spanish, Italian and Korean. These can only be selected from the player remote or from the 'Pop-up' menu during playback. There's no synopsis in the booklet, just a fanciful essay that unconvincingly attempts to link Götterdämmerung with Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and with the Belgian Congo. It does however provide that useful information about Jef Lambeaux's 'Les passions humaines' sculpture, which might otherwise not be recognised. Its significance however can fully be felt in this powerful conclusion to an intriguing Ring cycle.
Very much and I have seen all of them throughout my life in many great production , which I have enjoyed immensely and they linger in my memory , because they were so memorable. Picture is always worth more than thousand words. In my case it doesn't. Matter , because I know
Completely what 's wrong ,but modernization is harmful for the young generation of opera lovers , whom don't know the difference and are forced to accept and many of them are thinking and believing that it is the coosers idea. I just can not comprehend that the prestigious Opera
Companies like La Scala , Milan and The Metropolitan Opera from New York are downgrading themselves so badly. The present performance
From La Scala is thus far the worst I have ever seen , ( I have seen live performances of seven complete Rings in the opera houses ) . The best
Singing comes from soprano Irene Theorin , her voice is large and firm , although week on the low registers . She is at her best in the final scene" Starke Scheite schichted Mir Dort" . On the other hand her Siegfried in the person of Lance Ryan is completely out of voice. ( he was much better in the previous opera zSiegfried) . In his Death Scene " Brunhilde ! Heilige Braut" he is whispering not singing, and judging , what I
Have heard despite his good looks , he is not a Siegfried at all. From the male singers the best singing comes from the throat of Mikhail
Petrenko in the role of Hagen . His voice is above average and has a pleasant timber. The supporting voice of Getrune sang by Anna Samuil
, Gunther sang by Gerd Grohowski , the three Norns and the Rhinemaidens are all excellent singers. The good Chorus and excellent Orchestra
Are conducted by the Star of the performance Conductor Daniel Barenboim. It could be recommended for the lovers of modern Sets and Costumes.
That said I can pretty accurately say that the orchestra, conducting, dts HD audio and Blu Ray video are all first rate. The concept of director Cassirer's is consistent with all the previous operas. The sets and stage direction are all great and blend in well with the rather eclectic combination of costumes that somehow work together. I don't quite get the "Gloved Ring' or the girdle like cumber buns held up by suspenders worn by the Gibichungs, but then I said they were "eclectic." The acting is all pretty good, as is the camera work.
Vocally most of the singers are good to great with exception of Lance Ryan as Siegfried; he is not as good in this performance as he was in "Siegfried" which was filmed a year or two earlier. He has trouble in the upper register and in sustaining long, exposed notes. On the other hand, the Brunnhilde of Irene Theorin is quite wonderful. The La Scala Orchestra is great and powerfully directed by Barenboim who is apparently the heir to the mantle of great Wagner conductors of the past.
The Immolation Scene at the end of the opera made a magnificent and thrilling conclusion to this fine series. From the screen projections I was unable to actually discern the final actions in the story. I did not see the crumbling of Gibichung Hall and Valhalla engulfed in the flames and I could not see the Rhine Maidens getting back their gold. I will be exploring some other sets to see other immolation scenes to give me a better basis for comparison. For that reason and the less than great vocal performance of Siegfried, I am giving the disc four stars...Still very absorbing and enjoyable.
But! Things improve. The scene with Irene and Waltraud is absolutely stupendous. It's one of the highlights of the whole ring cycle. And her final aria is wonderful too, inspiring and heartbreaking.
Lance Ryan is great again (though once again not so much in his first scene, it wasn't just Irene's fault). Usually when I think of Siegfried I think of the happy oblivious version from Fritz Lang's silent film. Lance is not quite as nice personally, and it really adds layers to the Seigfried character and makes you think about him differently. His best scene is when he comes back to the mountain disguised as Gunther and rapes Brunhilde. It's the best version of that scene, I've seen hands down. They dancers for the tarnhelm work great too, utterly consuming her.
The Gibbichungens are good, except maybe for Gunther. He's a good singer, but could probably make more of his role.
Hagen is wonderful, you can't take your eyes off him when he's on stage. Alberich is also just perfect.
The stage and special effects are the best except for Siegfried, a real feast for the eyes. I do with more of the final story could have been told in the ending music. With all their projections I expected to see what was happening, not just hear it. Instead they showed a bas relief of the story, sort of, at least something one could interpret as the story. It was a bit like the let down of not seeing the rainbow bridge in their Rheingold. But it's okay. I liked looking at the bas relief. And the rest was fascinating and tied together a lot of the special effects and staging from throughout the productions.
The costume are terrible again. Irene's makes her look older and fatter than she is. Why is it cut so low? They had the same problem with Waltraud's first dress in Walkure. And the Gibichungens look like cartoon characters.
I have to say again. I have seen a lot of Ring productions and you absolutely can't get better than this one. It's unusual to see a single regular length opera without at least one singer whom you can't stand. They are are wonderful in this throughout. And they can both sing and act. Any criticisms I have stated are small quibbles, only noticeable because of what is otherwise perfection. The perfect cast, the best orchestra, the best conductor, inventive staging and special effects, good dancers, bad costumes, the La Scala Ring!