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Andrew Quint
Fanfare, May 2012

There certainly is no shortage of capable younger Wagner conductors to gradually supplant the previous, graying generation…A cohort of these now middle-aged musicians has amply demonstrated its affinity for the music in the theater and on disc…Young has the Right Stuff as a Wagner conductor.

The music leading up to Siegfried’s and Gunther’s blood oath is very exciting and the orchestral passage that follows Hagan’s menacing monolog at the end of act I, scene 2 is saturated with ominous dread. The music after Alberich’s and Hagan’s opening scene in the second act—the bass clarinet solo and horns entering canonically—is wonderfully evocative of night changing into early dawn. Young leads a very solemn and contemplative Funeral March.

To be sure, this is a good era for Wagnerian basses, and John Tomlinson has the requisite oily evilness for his role…Petra Lang perfectly communicates a bordering-on-hysteria desperation as she fails to persuade Brünnhilde to part with the ring.

…Anna Gabler portrays his sister in a sympathetic fashion—we hear the hope draining from her small, sad voice as she waits in the dark for Siegfried’s return in act III. Wolfgang Koch is unobjectionable as Alberich. As Brünnhilde, Deborah Polaski marshals her resources intelligently. She may not have the power she had 10 or 15 years ago but she still sounds pissed as hell in the Vengeance Trio, and her final tableau builds steadily and effectively.

The orchestra plays well…Oehms provides a libretto in German and English, as well as an excellent essay by Udo Bermbach. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare



Mike Ashman
Gramophone, April 2012

[Simone Young’s] placing of the Hauptstimme in generously scored tuttis…is fresh and original. In this very ‘live’ final episode, she is at one with her players, intervening interpretatively in the flow of Wagner’s melodic argument to a greater degree than previously in the cycle. The more personal, affectionate passages of the Dawn Duet or an emotional Waltraute scene are slowed and quietened to achieve a touching intimacy…

The cast is headed by veterans…Tomlinson in particular takes Hagen into areas several layers above mere black villainy. Franz is a brave and enthusiastic actor of Siegfried’s moods; Lang makes much of Waltraute’s emotional blackmail of Brünnhilde; Bork…and Gabler are colourful Gibichungs…this is first and foremost an excited, committed performance with its own logic. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Gavin Dixon
MusicWeb International, March 2012

Every member of the cast has something impressive to bring to this production. Christian Franz is an expressive and believable Siegfried. Deborah Polaski is similarly secure in her pitching as Brünnhilde. I found her performance very endearing, her natural tone, even at the top, making her the focus of attention in all the scenes she sings. This allows the Immolation Scene to be all the more definitive, with the audience really feeling Brünnhilde’s transcending compassion. The small role of Waltraute is given a similarly endearing reading by Petra Lang.

The baddies are just as convincing. This might well be the first recording of John Tomlinson singing Hagen, and if it is, it is worth buying for him alone. Wolfgang Koch is similarly menacing as Alberich…

There is some great ensemble singing from the Norns, the Rhinemaidens and the chorus, and the orchestra is also on good form.

Nevertheless, this Götterdämmerung gets my recommendation on the strength of the singing…the principals are all more than up to Wagner’s many challenges, and equally surprisingly, the supporting cast is too. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Stephen D Chakwin Jr
American Record Guide, March 2012

This new Gotterdammerung is…as good as any post-Karajan Gotterdammerung I know: more natural than Barenboim, more individual that De Billy, more alive and lyrical than Boulez, and more dramatic and concentrated…

Lang is an outstanding Waltraute. Her narration, full of color and expression…is one of the high points of the set…The woodwinds and horns are especially good. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online



Robert Levine
ClassicsToday.com, December 2011

The Waltraute/Brünnhilde scene is the most humanly interactive I’ve ever heard, and the summoning of the Vassals, with the Hamburg Chorus at its best, is as rousing as anyone might want. The sonics are superb. © ClassicsToday.com Read complete review






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5:59:38 PM, 31 July 2014
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