Listen to: Walkure - Kaufmann, Stemme, Kampe, Petrenko and Pape. (Spotify)

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday, 11 February 2013 | 1:29:00 pm


And so the Gergiev "all star" Ring cycle begins  The new digital Ring to replace all others? Well, now you can decide.

Anja Kampe Sieglinde
Jonas Kaufmann Siegmund
René Pape Wotan
Nina Stemme Brünnhilde
Mikhail Petrenko Hunding
Ekaterina Gubanova Fricka

Valery Gergiev conductor
Mariinsky Orchestra

In what may be the first Ring ever recorded in Russia, music director Valery Gergiev gathers the hottest cast on earth … Gergiev is magisterial in Wagner, a rampaging pagan among the gods. Ex-Decca producer James Mallinson rules the sound decks and the result in this, the first of four releases, is as gripping as any Wagner recording of recent times, a box to sit unblushing beside Solti’s everlasting benchmark.’ Sinfini Music (Norman Lebrecht)

***** ‘The orchestral playing is excellent, especially lower woodwinds in solo passages, while the brass is superb. The recording, from the fine acoustic of the Mariinsky Concert Hall, is sumptuous.’ Opera Britannia (UK)

‘In the first act at least, with Jonas Kaufmann as an incomparable Siegmund, Anja Kampe a profoundly moving Sieglinde and Gergiev pacing the performance to an overwhelming climax, the result is spellbinding. In fact, few performances on disc can match it for sheer excitement, or for Kaufmann's blend of easy power, immaculate diction and lyric beauty … Gergiev obtains transcendently beautiful playing from the Mariinsky Orchestra.’ The Guardian (UK)