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Das Rheingold [Import]

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Actors: Zubin Mehta, Matti Salminen, Anna Larsson, Juha Uusitalo, Gerhard Siegel
  • Directors: Carlus Padrissa
  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: C Major
  • Release Date: Jan. 26 2010
  • Run Time: 167 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B002S8ON64
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
While I have three other ring cycles this is definitely one of my favourites. Singing, acting, musical direction and playing are of a high standard and it all works really well on Blu Ray. The Wotan is one of the most memorable that I can remember and there are no weak links in this production. Many of the images are truly stunning and take you to places other productions can only hint at. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Distracting setup July 5 2010
By C. Gonzalez Aviles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This was my first "Das Rheingold", and I found various aspects of the staging very distracting. For example, Loge moves around atop a Segway, which I found very odd (or just crazy?). Things like this kept me from paying close attention to the unfolding story: I only understood the story after watching the traditional Levine Met version (which is very fine). On the other hand, there are certain aspects to this production that I found very appealing, e.g., the use of the human body in it. Summarizing, I would recommend this disc to anyone who is already familiar with the opera, but not to newcomers to it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable March 17 2010
By John Chandler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a Ring for the 21st century. If Wagner was here today he would probably want to tweak it here and there but would almost certainly approve of this inspired production. Anyone who loves the Ring owes it to themselves to see this series. It is like no other Ring you will have ever seen. Why therefore have I not given it full marks. Well mostly the orchestra. Despite Maestro Mehta's assurance in the short, and frankly not very good, "making of" doco that he is a true Wagner conductor, one only has to listen to Barenboim or Boulez or the old Solti CD to realise he is not quite there yet. The speeds are ponderous and the playing does not quite capture the full excitemnt of Wagner's masterwork. The singers unusually out shout the orchestra and are very clear but I was frankly a bit disappointed with the playing. I suppose one cannot expect much better from an orchestra that does not play regularly together and without a true Wagner conductor. Good - but just not quite a match for the extraordinary and inspired production. For once all the cast looked their parts: Sexy Rhein maidens, an imposing Wotan and Alberich and no weak links anywhere. I loved the costumes and quickly got used to the cranes. The giants were just magnificent with wonderful facial expresions and superb singing.

I did not care for one or two special effects, particularly from the Rhein maidens, or the net over Wotan's first entry, or Maestro Mehta's appearance here and there, but for 90%+ the production is brilliant. A little tweaking next time and it might even be perfect! One point to note is that for Blu ray watchers this plays like a movie. One rarely sees the whole stage and special effects appear on screen as selected by the editors. Anyone in the audience would not get this close up edition and would see quite a different perspective. On balance the Blu ray version is very good and probably the best way to view it but I would like to see it from the audience perspective as well one day.

Overall this is a stunning release, which must be seen by any lover of the Ring, just a pity the musical direction and playing was not quite up to the highest mark. If you plan to own just one Ring on disc then this must be it although I shall not chuck out my much loved Boulez and the old Solti and I still like the Dutch release. Highly recommended despite the reservations.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dazzling Beginning March 7 2010
By DDD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had initially decided that I would not purchase this Ring. I already Boulez, Barenboim, Copenhagen and the Pierre Audi sets. All had varying degrees of excellence and all had flaws of some sort. As reviews started coming in my interest was piqued and I took the plunge. I have now watched Rheingold and Walkeure and am awaiting receipt of the final two as I write this.

First as an older purchaser of DVD's it was necessary to attempt to put out of my "mental hearing" (if such is possible) the recordings of the Ring that came from Bayreuth in the fifties and early sixties, e.i., the period of Varnay and Nilsson, together with the great Wagnerian singers that Wieland had at his disposal. We didn't know it then, but that level of singing was to disappear. What has come to be acceptable singing in these roles is quite another level. It is useless to mourn the passing and decry what we now have in its stead.

Visually this new Rheingold has at its disposal a level of technical resources that were unimaginable even ten or fifteen years ago. To many this will be an irritant, having the character in lifts being moved around by backstage personnel. The opening scene in the Rhein does restrict the maidens to rectangular boxes filled with water, hardly interacting at all with Alberich. I do not find this as troubling as the listener (in the blue ray edition) who rated the set three stars and making a comparison to the boulez/Chereau edition. But the constant flow and flux of images that are projected on the stage are immensely imaginative in creating mood and setting.

The singing in the set is domminated by Salimen, in his sixties and sounding decades younger and Anna Larsson, the Fricka: both are superb. Wotan is sung by a young Finnish baritone; to me his voice it quite lyric and lacks the heft of a Hotter or London. But he does sing well and projects the text with great relish; Loge in the past has been frequently sung by an aging heldentenor, but in the case the weight of the voice suggests a Tamino! It works for me. Over all I would have to rate the singing as better than the Audi set, but perhaps a notch below the the Boulez and Barenboim sets. Go to YouTube and check out the clips.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere between great and goofy! April 4 2010
By Thomas Ascher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I wouldn't recommend this as a first Rheingold, nor a second, nor a third. This is for people who have seen a number of more traditional Rheingolds over the years and yearn for something new.

Positives are the rhine maidens doing underwater aquatics in the first act. Quite visual and sexy. Not bad singing either. Also, stunning graphics projected on the rear screen giving a very sci-fi futuristic feeling to the backgrounds.

Placing principals in giant robots is more problematic. Gives visual interest to what otherwise might be static scenes, but hampers action. Principals do not move at all, just stage hands moving the robots. The giants cannot grab hold of Freia except in a very clumsy way. When Fafner kills Fasolt it is done with a crude bump from one robot to another. Not very convincing. When Alberich "changes" into a dragon or a frog, there is no attempt to make it appear as though it is actually happening on stage. When Alberich is captured, tied up, then later released, it really doesn't happen at all. He just stands there, unfettered, singing about being captured.

The orchestra under Zubin Mehta creates glorious sound, but in a rather stilted way, slowing down for robot action, stopping to await the raising or lowering of a platform.

The best part of the disc, really, is the travelogue of Valencia and the magnificent, futuristic Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. It was a delight to watch the free, outside venue where thousands of spectators observe La Fura dels Baus's street-theatre-trained actor-acrobats providing props and background for the action.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Ring Production April 26 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The new issuance of Der Ring Das Niebulung is welcome. The questions for I would ask the potential purchaser to ask before purchase is how familiar is he with the Ring; what other productions has he seen; and what is his preferences in terms of music, singers, production and sound? For me the Levine Ring is on all counts (but perhaps recording quality as the Levine is now closing on 20 years since the broadcast) the one set to own if the purchaser is seeking the first for a library or a viewing. The Met orchastra, integrated cast and, yes, very traditional Wagner directed production, are exactly what the first set should be.

That said, this new production seems the perfect second set. Niether the cast nor the orchastra have the Metropolitan Opera's depth and the musical interpretation seems unvaried and at times appears to lose pace and direction. However, this may be one of the more interesting non-traditional productions on disc (without being highly controversial or out of line with a sensible interpretation) and the use of multimedia effects lends to some arresting moments (and some not so). The effect on in HD and with Blue Ray are as good as they get.

Go with it for a second set or if you are familiar with the Met production and others, and want something different and a demonstration what can be done on a opera stage.