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Die Walkure [Import]

2.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Tdk DVD Video
  • Release Date: April 20 2004
  • Run Time: 229 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0001FR0N4
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Customer Reviews

2.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Traditionalist Beware! There is a new Ring cycle available on DVD (at least Rheingold and Die Walkure). Each of the four opera's was handed to a separate production team giving us very 'individual' perspectives of each of the works. Christof Nel was the producer for this second installment of the cycle.
Throughout the entire Die Wakure I felt as if I were listening to a 'version' of the opera and not what Wagner wrote. My Ring's of choice have been the Met's version on DVD and the Solti on CD, so I know what it should look and sound like. I purchased this DVD optimistically thinking that I would see a new spin on what is the most beautiful of all the Ring works. . . and I did, unfortunately I was not impressed. Most of the singers did a good job with Angela Denoke singing a wonderful Sieglinde, she could truly handle the role, and Tichina Vaughn giving us a full voiced Fricka. Robert Gambill gave us a strong Siegmund - a very lyrical portrayal. The disappointments here were in the staring roles (assuming that you believe that Walkure is an opera about a father and his daughter). Jan-Hendrik Rootering's Wotan was just not likable and his singing reflected this. His Act II scenes with Brunnhilde, the most important part of the Ring cycle per Wagner, were simply not moving; not even the orchestra could help here. I don't know a lot about Renate Behle but her Brunnhilde was fair at best. She seemed to be reaching constantly for her top notes. Her Act II opening "battle cry" was not delivered well. She seemed to 'clip' the words, and it never seemed to get better. Finally there is the most wonderful and moving music in all of Wagner: the final scene of Act III. . . if they could have pulled this off, then all would have been forgiven. Here is where the production team let us down.
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Did anybody happen to sit through the third recent filmic installment of J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter,namely THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN? Well,just go back to it for a moment and remember Professor Lupin's word to make the bothersome entities called boggarts completely evanesce...What is it? Yes,the word is:RIDICULOUS!!!
Well,after watching this DVD most of you will be echoing Lupin's repelling
incantation,but applied to what you see,and in this second day of DER RING
DES NIBELUNGEN,also to what you hear.
The credits of this productions and stage directions go to a guy named Christoph Nel,who according to them happens to be a psychologist...My question is,since when do Wagner's immortal music dramas,nor any theatrical work of the past per se,need any sort of "psychological interpretation" whatsoever???? There is more than enough psychological elements in Wagner's RING,among gazillions of other things that can be perceived without besmirching its parts and transform them in this sort of nonsensical poppycock.
Of the three acts the worst of tastes ever imaginable is displayed in the third,
where the archifamous RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES is nonexistant.
Wotan's magical fire is reduced to a series of six candles on a short square
wooden table,whereon Brunnhilde falls asleep(watch your hair catching fire,lady!)in some sort of a mix of a bar and a warehouse,complete with shipping
docks and everything and to a spotlight that the "god"(?!)himslef handles....
If this was part of a comic book in my childhood I think I still would have rejected it as absurd.
There is no sense to it,no matter how many euphemisms we wanna use or
how much we want to tergiversate things around.
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I'm shocked that people are so against what I see as the best WALKURE available on DVD--but then again, bold interpretations always incense as much as they inspire.
Among the many reasons I think this is a must-see: I have never seen an Act I reveal the entire spectrum of the characters' journey as minutely or believably fleshed out as here; the long stretches of silent communication between Sieglinde and Siegmund are exactly as tense and sexually charged as they must be to succeed. With planks of wood making up the walls of this simple set, furnished only by a few kitchen accessories and an ordinary table, the interplay of the three central characters creates a complicated drama rich in details: Siegmund licks the handful of water off of Sieglinde's fingers, then playfully splashes her with his own handful; Hunding and Siegmund arm wrestle in a polite but aggressive test of their masculinity; and after Siegmund reveals himself to Hunding as his enemy, the two sit head to head and eat the steak that Sieglinde has cooked for them-Hunding's awkward fulfillment of hospitality that adds much suspense to a moment usually treated as a bloated transition.
Nel's creative revelations of the characters are played completely naturally, but Nel has more in mind than psychological realism: from the striking opening tableau, he employs stylized movement and powerful symbolism to excellent theatrical effect. One of the strongest ideas in the production is the appearance of Nothung the sword as a bright white projection beaming through Hunding's dark room. Siegmund steps through the projection as the sword motif resolves his "Wälse" call, and he spends the remainder of his aria grasping at the light. Nothung here is still a promise, a tantalizing desire that keeps eluding his reach.
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