Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wagner - Die Walkure / Levine Behrens Norman Metropolitan Opera |
Levine Ring Cycle Part 2
Actors: Hildegard Behrens, James Morris, Jessye Norman, Christa Ludwig, Gary Lakes
Director: Brian Large
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts
It's no surprise that the second opera in Wagner's epic Ring cycle, Die Walküre, is the one Deutsche Grammophon released first on DVD: it's by far the most popular of the four parts of The Ring, from the thrilling Act I l... more »
From a Novice: WONDERFUL!
drkhimxz | Freehold, NJ, USA | 05/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I cannot view Walkure as can a Wagnerian nor as someone well versed in the art of music, much less in the musical drama of opera. I do watch it as I would watch Oklahoma or Fred Astaire in Top Hat; I watch for the pleasures to be gained without too much concern for all that I am missing by way of comparison with other productions or how a singer or orchestra failed to meet someone's standard of performance. That's not by way of apology for my ignorance, rather, it simply explains one reason why my view is my view; it may help others who are pretty much in the same boat as I, it probably is useless to someone who is deeply grounded in technique, technicalities and comparative music.
What did I think while watching: a knockout. The scenic design complemented the musical performance adding considerable strength to it, the orchestral music was sublime, the singers, most of the time, in most parts, very persuasive. I can't speak to the pacing since I can do what someone in an orchestra seat at the Met cannot, turn off the disc anytime that suits me, return when I am ready for it, not allow any sense of "when will it end", of performance fatigue, enter into my enjoyment. Perhaps, not the way to see opera, but it works for me.
I said that the singers were very persuasive, not really true for me. Wotan, Siegfried, Brunhilde, and the majestic Jessye Norman, really gave me a lift. Fricka, well, not quite as much, not for technical reasons, but it simply did not come across as well to me. To my regret since I know of the great accomplishments of the singer.
At any rate, from my viewpoint (with blessings to Beverly Sills. who brought surtitles to the United States) this is two fine movies packaged into one of the four operas in The Ring. Approach it without preconceptions and with a proper conception of your limits for one sitting, and you are likely to get a kick out of it.
Oh, yes, Wagner. I don't know enough about him to understand the goals which he set for himself in this opera. This whole business of Gods, Heroes and Women, forces my eyes to glaze over. His time and place in history led to some strange ideas.
Yet, Wagner, knew how to spin a tune, write a song, and build characters. The rest of it I leave to the historians."
Johann Fu | Bellevue, WA USA | 01/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James Morris is a superb Wotan. And - an added bonus - he LOOKS like the big Norse god. The final farewell to Brunhilde is heart breaking."
Skip Act One
Theodore Shulman | NYC | 11/17/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Gary Lakes is about as interesting as a half-eaten bowl of soggy cornflakes. Jessye Norman does not function as a "rescue-me" soprano. Kurt Moll is totally unable to play stupid characters. He always sounds like what he is--a natural musical genius. This is also a problem when he sings Osmin and Baron Ochs.