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Wagner: Das Rheingold – The Mariinsky Label

WAGNER Das Rheingold

Choc de l'année Classica
ICMA 2014 Nomination Best Opera

  • Valery Gergeiv Musical director & conductor
    Mariinsky Orchestra & Chorus


    René Pape Wotan
    Alexei Markov Donner
    Sergei Semishkur Froh
    Stephan Rügamer Loge
    Ekaterina Gubanova Fricka
    Viktoria Yastrebova Freia
    Zlata Bulycheva Erda


    Nikolai Putilin Alberich
    Andrei Popov Mime


    Evgeny Nikitin Fasolt
    Mikhail Petrenko Fafner


    Zhanna Dombrovsakya Woglinde
    Irina Vasileva Wellgunde
    Ekaterina Sergeeva Floßhilde

  • Total duration 147m42s

    Catalogue number MAR0526
    UPC 822231852629

    James Mallinson producer
    Vladimir Ryabenko engineering, editing & mastering

    Recorded June 2010, February, April & June 2012 at the Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg
    Sung in German. Libretto in German & English

    Includes multi-channel 5.0 and stereo mixes.
    Notes in English / en Francais / auf Deutsch / на русском языке

  • Choc de l'Année Classica

    ICMA Nomination 2014 Best Opera

    **** Performance ***** Recording 'He [Gergiev] draws plenty of vivid drama and glowing colour from the Mariinsky players... I look forward to the complete Ring.' BBC Music Magazine

    **** ½ 'Much of the credit for this must be given to Valery Gergiev who has over recent years demonstrated his tireless commitment to both the music of Wagner and the Mariinsky… His [Pape's] rich, velvety and beautifully projected legato singing are a constant joy throughout this recording while his immaculate diction and complete identification with the character confirm his pre-eminent position as one of the most accomplished Wagner interpreters of our time… Gergiev's command of the score is most persuasive and his interpretation rarely, if ever, fails to convince. His steady unfolding of the narrative never lacks dramatic thrust, thanks above all to the superlative playing that he elicits from his mahogany-toned Russian orchestra with its sonorous burnished brass, crisp percussion and distinctive woodwind.' SA-CD.net

    'This Mariinsky recording preserves the singing of some of Russia's best Wagnerians and, with its richly-balanced sonics, gives Wagner's score an opportunity to fully reveal its wonders via one of the world's great orchestras… the Orchestra's playing is never less than excellent and, in many passages, rises to genuine greatness.' Voix des Arts

    'Thanks to Gergiev's experience of touring Der Ring des Nibelungen with his Mariinsky Theatre ensemble, this recording has a lived-in, knitted-together character that suits the first opera in the cycle'. Financial Times

    'René Pape, one of today's great Wotans, exudes authority and gets inside his role.' Classical Ear

    'The orchestral playing is excellent, dramatic and exciting.' BBC Radio 3 CD Review

    'The real glory of this set, though, is its stupendous recorded sound with every detail of the orchestral playing and the excellent singing captured in fine detail and with richness.' Wagner News

    'Rene Pape is now an established Wotan, one of the best; Nikolai Putilin a very fine Alberich and Stephan Rügamer a scheming spiv of a Loge. Ekaterina Gubanova confirms her credentials as one of the most exciting and well-schooled mezzos today (thanks to her years at The Royal Opera no doubt) and the rest of the cast are very even.' Auditorium

    'With the legendary producer James Mallinson in charge, the recorded sound is admirably vivid and clear.' International Record Review

    'The Wagner-surprise of the year does not come from Bayreuth – it comes from St. Petersburg… Gergiev managed to unleash such a drama from the score that some critics felt reminded of the power of great film music. The project promises to become a milestone not least because of the great soloists – amongst them Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape, both of them are renowned "Wagner-charismatic people". All of those who did not believe in the beginning that a new Wagner-centre was to reveal itself on the edge of the Neva – aside from the already known ones at the Spree and the Isar – they have been taught otherwise and once more with this new release of the "Rheingold".' Klassikerleben.de

    'I mentioned the quality of the orchestra which is captured in demonstration quality sound by a Russian team under the supervision of ex-Decca, award-winning producer James Mallinson who also does the same for the London Symphony's and Chicago Symphony's own recordings. The layout from left to right and front to back is the ultimate in realism for orchestra and singers... a touchable reality.' Thewholenote.com

    His Das Rheingold is certainly a splendid effort, featuring both excellent singing and brilliant playing by the Mariinsky Orchestra. Gergiev's take on the score is riveting while effectively conveying Wagner's expressive depth… the Gergiev musically can stand with the Barenboim in most respects, but must be given an edge in sound reproduction, as the older Barenboim set, good as its sound is for its time (1991-92), is not quite as vivid.' Classical.net

    'What an interpretation of a role! Pape offers seemingly effortless legato singing, impressive interpretation of the text and independent, very sophisticated and multifaceted phrasing. Indeed, one can grow very fond of this Wotan... From the orchestra point of view this recording is close to perfection.' Magazin.klassik.com

    'The uniquely euphoric spirit of The Ring's prelude emerges with irresistible conviction as the compelling drama unfolds.' Gramophone

    'Gergiev is impressive because of the intensity that is characteristic for him… As to the singers Gergiev has a definite advantage over for example Christian Thielemann's new recording. René Pape's Wotan is right in the centre of attention… Surely, in quality of voice Pape leaves all his current rivals far behind. Stephan Rügamer introduces subtle colours with his interpretation of the role of Loge… Ekaterina Gubanova stands out as a youthful, bright and cheery Fricka.' FonoForum


René Pape, Nikolai Putilin, Stephan Rügamer, Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Orchestra

Recorded in the sumptuous acoustic of the Mariinsky Concert Hall, Das Rheingold is led by René Pape in the role of Wotan. Pape is ably supported by an international Wagnerian cast, and 'Gergiev's absolute mastery of this orchestra,' (Wagner News) is in evidence once again in a tremendously dramatic performance. 

Der Ring des Nibelungen was the pinnacle of Richard Wagner's long and turbulent career and without question one of the greatest achievements in opera. Wagner wanted to create the perfect synthesis of music and drama and assumed total creative control of the project which was to take him 26 years to complete, with frequent interruptions. He introduced numerous innovations, not least the sheer scale of the project – typically a complete performance will last in excess of 15 hours, spread over four evenings. No other opera matches the scale or ambition of the Ring.

The Mariinsky Theatre has close connections with Wagner and his music. The composer conducted at the theatre and was even offered the post of Music Director. It is also believed to be the first place where any of the music from the Ring was performed. Since Valery Gergiev became Music Director of the Mariinsky, Wagner's music has once again become a core part of the theatre's repertoire, both in St Petersburg and on tour. The Mariinsky label's recording of Wagner's final opera Parsifal starring René Pape, Gary Lehmann and Violeta Urmana, was released in 2010 to international acclaim.

Other Wagner recordings available on the Mariinsky label include Die Walküre and Parsifal.

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