Author Topic: Wagner's Valhalla  (Read 381204 times)

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Offline ritter

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2200 on: September 30, 2018, 09:31:16 AM »


As has now become a tradition, the latest Bayreuth Festival production of the Ring, the controversial but fascinating staging by Frank Castorf, with fabulous sets by Aleksandar Denić, which ran from 2013 to 2017 (conducted in its first three years by Kirill Petrenko and then by Marek Janowski—with an isolated offering of Die Walküre under Plácido Domingo in 2018), is the subject of a book, this time published by La Pommerie in France. Full details available here. It seems that the book (with German and French texts) can only be obtained directly from the publisher’s website (I don’t see it listed on any Amazon site).

A “deluxe” edition also includes a “behind the scenes” DVD. Even if the whole production was broadcast live on TV in 2015 and taped, there’s no news of a release on DVD (but there are rumours that the 2018 Walküre will be released next year).

All Bayreuth Ring productions since the legendary Boulez/Chéreau staging of 1976-1980 have been documented and analyzed in one way or another in books:

The Patrice Chéreau/Pierre Boulez Jahrhundertring (French and German editions):
   

Peter Hall/Georg Solti (only in 1983, in subsequent summers the conductor was Peter Schneider)—this is the only one of these books in Englidh AFAIK:


Harry Kupfer/Daniel Barenboim:


Alfred Kirchner/James Levine (focusing on designer Rosalie’s sets):


Jürgen Flimm/Giuseppe Sinopoli (only in its first year—Adam Fischer took over the baton after Sinopoli’s untimely death):


Tankred Dorst/Christian Thielemann:


These books are complemented by this survey of all Ring productions in Bayreuth since the first in 1876 up to the Tankred Dorst in 2006:


Apart from these “official” publications—to which the artists involved and the Festival direction submit texts—there’s been at least two pamphlets viciously attacking, respectively, the Chéreau and Castorf productions. I suppose we’d be hard pressed to find the presentation of one single stage work at one single venue so richly documented as is the case of the Ring at Bayreuth.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 09:45:40 PM by ritter »
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2201 on: October 14, 2019, 08:50:09 PM »
Listened to Astrid Varnay singing in Wagner's Die Walküre.  It was a cheap Membran compilation originating from the Knappertsbusch 1957 Bayreuth performance. Excellent! I haven't listened much to Varnay so it appears as if there is a goldmine of historical recordings. Yay!  >:D

Disc 1 from



Likely originating from

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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2202 on: October 14, 2019, 08:56:19 PM »
And, my usual comment - so quiet in Valhalla.  Aren't we all supposed to be drinking mead in good company?
No love for Wagner?

"Every time you spend money you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want...."
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Offline Biffo

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2203 on: October 15, 2019, 12:32:54 AM »
And, my usual comment - so quiet in Valhalla.  Aren't we all supposed to be drinking mead in good company?
No love for Wagner?



For some reason my infatuation with the Ring Cycle has fizzled out. This is a shame as I have a pile of recordings of that work waiting to be listened to - Bohm, Janowski, Elder, Goodall and Thielemann. I am sure the madness will return at some point.

Offline Moonfish

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2204 on: October 15, 2019, 01:51:01 AM »
I came across a glowing review of Schüchter's recording of "Das Rheingold" from 1952 (Hamburg).  Looking forward to exploring it.  Schüchter appears to have had a relatively low profile (in the shadow of other great conductors?). He recorded a 'Lohengrin' as well if I recall correctly.  I've been exploring vintage Wagner a bit this evening and it is quite interesting. A lot of discussion about the virtues of orchestras, singers and different soundscapes (and engineering). Quite a topography to wander through.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 02:24:59 AM by Moonfish »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2205 on: October 15, 2019, 06:15:34 AM »
And, my usual comment - so quiet in Valhalla.  Aren't we all supposed to be drinking mead in good company?
No love for Wagner?



I like Wagner, but he’s not a composer I can devote so much time to again. I mean it takes four hours to get through Parsifal for example. I know you’re not supposed to sit through it in all one setting as that would be madness, but I simply don’t have four hours to spend on his music. He also does get rather musically redundant after listening to him for awhile. It’s like I know where the music is heading and there’s really no twists or turns along the way that surprise me anymore. My hat is off to people who do find the time for him and then there’s listeners who are absolutely obsessed with his music. I never reached that level and probably never will.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 06:18:11 AM by Mirror Image »
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy