Richard Wagner called Die Walküre the “first evening” of the Ring of the Nibelung; he called Das Rheingold the prologue or Vorabend. Musically and dramatically, we are introduced to a radically new and different world when the opening bars of Die Walküre resound. A fully developed orchestral palette of Leitmotivs paints a wild storm scene, and the curtain rises on a modest dwelling: a fully human scene that has nothing to do with the gods, dwarves and nymphs of Das Rheingold. At the same time, however, the way Die Walküre portrays radical beginnings reveals some telling reminiscences of the unfolding of Das Rheingold. Die Walküre is exciting and deeply feeling drama.
The Scala “Ring” Cycle by Guy Cassiers is continued here with, as in Rheingold, numerous outstanding opera stars. Most of all, the leading ladies, ever wonderful Waltraud Meier as Sieglinde, marvellous Nina Stemme as a strong Brünnhilde and Ekaterina Gubanova as a convincing Fricka are to be named. Simon O’Neill and John Tomlinson fight a stirring duel as Siegmund and Hunding and Vitalij Kowaljow gives his dark portrayal of Wotan. Daniel Barenboim presents a fantastic musical interpretation of this second and inspiring evening of the “Ring”.
“This was opera magic where Daniel Barenboim brought out the full depth and passion of Wagner’s music.”The Telegraph
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