Label: OPUS ARTE
Gramophone Editor's Choice - January 2010
Wagner's epic four-opera cycle is a work of extraordinary scale - a full performance takes place over four nights with a total playing time of approximately 15 hours. Based loosely on characters from the Norse sagas, it is a work that follows the struggles of gods, heroes, mythical creatures, and the eponymous magical Ring that grants dominion over the entire world. The music is richly textured, and grows in complexity as the cycle proceeds - Wagner wrote for an orchestra of gargantuan proportions, including a greatly enlarged brass section with new instruments invented especially for the work. The Bayreuth Festspielhaus was constructed for this work to be performed in, with a specially designed stage that allows singers voices to blend with the huge orchestra without straining - essential for such long performances.
‘Whatever one's take on the production, Mr. Thielemann drew a probing, radiant and exhilarating musical performance from this orchestra of dedicated instrumentalists’ New York Times
‘ … there is no doubt that this year's Ring at Bayreuth belongs to… Thielemann…[who] creates a musical experience epic in its scale and inexorable in its apocalyptic, shattering power.’ The Guardian
Recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival in 2008, this production stars a host of international stars including Michelle Breedt, Albert Dohmen, Stephen Gould, Hans-Peter Konig, Linda Watson & Eva-Maria Westbroek. Christian Thielemann, one of the most sought-after conductors in the world, takes the baton with the Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra. This 14-disc CD box set marks the first ever Opus Arte CD release, and the start of an exciting new direction for the company.