Wagner: Die Walkure

Wagner: Die Walkure

Director: Brian Large Cast: Hildegard Behrens, Gary Lakes, Christa Ludwig

DVD (DTS / Stereo)

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Product Details

Release Date: 11/12/2002
UPC: 0044007304990
Original Release: 1991
Rating: NR
Source: Deutsche Grammophon
Region Code: 0
Sound: [stereo, DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 4:01:00

Special Features

Picture gallery (Die Walküre at the Met); Trailer

Cast & Crew

Customer Reviews

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Wagner: Die Walkure 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is what DVD is all about! The best seats in the house ¿ not just front and centre, but in various other positions. And you are taken on stage so close that you feel you can touch the singers. And what superb singers they are! The first part belongs to Gary Lakes as Siegmund, and Jesse Norman as Sieglinde, ably supported by Kurt Moll as Hunding. The second part is dominated by James Morris as Wotan, and the beauteous Hildegard Behrens as Brunhilde, with Christa Ludwig playing a smaller, but nonetheless dramatic part, as Fricka. Wagner¿s operas are not for the faint of heart, or stamina ¿ hence the expression ¿with the build of a Wagnerian singer¿. There are not many tuneful arias that you can sing afterward, as is the case with the operas by such other masters as Verdi and Puccini, but the music is stunning and powerful, and in this presentation, the performers do Wagner¿s score full justice. The drama is in the singing and in the story line. This is just one of the four operas in The Ring Of The Nibelung series, and it takes all of four hours. A live performance would add another hour, with the various breaks. I did cheat a bit, in that I viewed it over two nights, in my comfortable recliner, with copious draughts of rum and coconut water (milk), but I was totally absorbed until the very end. The staging was superb, with a haunting blue light pervading many scenes, but the spotlights were clear enough, to do justice to the singers¿ faces, and the rich costumes. This is in line with what you would expect of a Metropolitan Opera production, with a seemingly unlimited financial budget. The orchestra fully supported the singers, and the effect in surround sound, makes an investment in such equipment, worth every dollar. The enclosed booklet was very informative, unlike other DVD productions, where one is forced to take out the booklet that accompanies most CD music versions (assuming one already owns such), to provide an occasional synopsis of the scenes. A well staged, dramatic opera, magnificently sung ¿ what else can one ask for? I just can¿t wait for other releases in The Ring series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
''Die Walkure'' has always been my least favorite of the Ring operas; but the recent DVD release of this work on the Deutsche Grammophon label (073 011-9) has done much to change my mind. Recorded at the Metropolitan Opera in 1990, this production (long available on VHS) has James Levine conducting a high-powered cast (and nothing less than that will do for any Wagner opera) and using generally slower tempos than (say) Solti would use. ''Walkure'' does tend to move like a glacier throughout most of its nearly four hours, and Levine's leisurely approach does not help. On the other hand, his Sieglinde (Jessye Norman) is in great vocal shape, as is her Siegmund (Gary Lakes), and Wotan (James Morris). Kurt Moll's Hunding is well acted and he still has that basso of old to give the character dignity and menace. If you can accept Lakes and Norman as twins (what would John Simon have to say here?), you still have to overlook their somewhat wooden acting. But Hildegard Behrens' Brunhilde makes us believe she is a vibrant teenager, although she has to work hard to keep up a role that really does not lie comfortably in her range. (See the criticisms of her Elektra, also from the Met.) Christa Ludwig's brief appearance as Fricka tells us she is a bit past her glory days vocally, but still she creates a believable character. It is interesting to note that Norman sits out Act III to take a final curtain call, but Lake and Moll do not. Otherwise engaged? It is good to see an old-fashioned, non-concept, production of this work without Teutonic heroes in tuxedos or scenes acted in hypercubes. We now longer expect to see horses in at the opening of Act III, but that sequence is nevertheless done with great excitement. This version seems designed to tell the story without forcing 20th century interpretations on Wagner's Romanticism. The two DVDs run at 241 minutes in the 4:3 screen ratio and have subtitles in English, French, Chinese, and (finally!) the original German, an idea that should be used for all operas on DVD. As with all DVDs, no libretto but a good synopsis is provided.