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Gavin Dixon
Fanfare, November 2016

Simon Rattle isn’t much known as a Wagnerian, despite well-received performances at Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, and Baden-Baden, but this well-cast Rheingold from Munich should help establish his credentials on record. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Joshua Cohen
Fanfare, July 2016

Simon Rattle has always been a conductor of high aspiration as well as exceptional talent, and his performance does generate moments of beauty and power. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, June 2016

This is a Rheingold to be mentioned in the same breath as Solti and Keilberth and it’s very good value as a download… For a live recording, it sounds excellent… © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

José Luis Bermúdez
Classical Net, March 2016

WAGNER, R.: Rheingold (Das) [Opera] (Volle, E. Kulman, Konieczny, B. Ulrich, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Rattle) 900133
WAGNER, R.: Rheingold (Das) [Opera] (Goerne, DeYoung, Begley, Sidhom, Cangelosi, Hong Kong Philharmonic, van Zweden) (Blu-Ray Audio) NBD0049

Of the two conductors, Rattle has much more fluidity, particularly with the strings.

Both of these sets have their merits. There is some very fine singing from van Zweden’s castand the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks take the orchestral honors. © 2016 Classical Net Read complete review

Robert Levine
Stereophile, March 2016


Where this set stands out is in the handsomeness of the voices: there is no Wagnerian barking here. The Rhinemaidens are girlish, in tune, and lovely; the Freia of Annette Dasch is correctly alluring; Michael Volle as Wotan and Elisabeth Kulman as Fricka both sing with beautiful legato and youthful tone; Benjamin Bruns is a suave Froh; and Christian Van Horn’s Donner does not exaggerate in his big scene. Burkhard Ulrich is a slick Loge, and Tomasz Konieczny (Alberich) and Herwig Pecoraro (Mime) are a slimy pair. Janina Baechle is a properly gloomy Erda. Fine Giants as well. Highly recommended. © 2016 Stereophile

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, March 2016

…I was immediately impressed by the vocally secure Rhinemaidens, a trio as good as one can encounter on disc. Rattle also has a superior Alberich in the magnetic, insidious Tomasz Konieczny. The give-and-take between Alberich and the teasingly seductive river nymphs in the opening scene is much more engaging than with van Zweden’s business-like trio. Rattle’s quick pacing keeps everything alert and alive, but he slows down appropriately to capture the Rhinemaidens’ rapt wonder before the golden treasure. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Fred Cohn
Opera News, March 2016

The conductor’s mastery of orchestral texture is in bountiful evidence, beautifully captured by BR’s engineers. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review

Ralph V Lucano
American Record Guide, March 2016

WAGNER, R.: Rheingold (Das) [Opera] (Volle, E. Kulman, Konieczny, B. Ulrich, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Rattle) 900133
WAGNER, R.: Rheingold (Das) [Opera] (Goerne, DeYoung, Begley, Sidhom, Cangelosi, Hong Kong Philharmonic, van Zweden) 8.660374-75

Rattle is much better. His orchestra has a fuller sound, and the bottom lines are far clearer and more expressive. So are his Rheinmaidens, who are on the shrill side but personable.

Both recordings have good sound, though the BR is superior. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Gavin Dixon
Fanfare, January 2016

A vocally well-matched trio of Rhinemaidens introduce the Alberich of Tomasz Konieczny. His voice is impressively consistent, even across the broad dynamic range of the part: clear, but with a suitably dark edge. And, he has the ideal menacing laugh. Michael Volle is better known for his Beckmesser, but he makes a good Wotan too. His voice is low for the role, with a more bassy presence than we usually hear. His enunciation is excellent, and the lilt of his slow, wide vibrato makes for a continually attractive tone. Elisabeth Kulman is similarly clear as Fricka, her tone satisfyingly earthy. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Parterre Box, December 2015

Konieczny, a fine singing actor whose won critical praise as both Wotan and Alberich, is a nuanced but convincing villain here, using his dark, round bass baritone to convey the dwarf’s anguish and make the character more than simply a curse-spitting slave-driver.

Volle, who’s set to be the Met’s next Wotan, has a commanding sound with a wide vibrato and strong sense of the melodic line.

…Janina Baeschle is an otherworldly Erda, unleashing some ominous bottom notes while ably handling Rattle’s spacious pacing. Elisabeth Kulman is a high-handed and suitably imposing Fricka while Annette Dasch provides luxury casting as a sultry Freia. The well-matched trio of Rhine daughters are soprano Mirella Hagen and mezzos Stefanie Iranyi and Eva Vogel. © 2015 Parterre Box Read complete review

Robert Benson, December 2015

The Rattle Rheingold is a gem. …This is a magnificent performance in every way, a superb cast, and orchestral playing that could not be bettered. © 2015 Read complete review

Peter Quantrill
Sinfini Music, November 2015

…Michael Volle’s Godfather (Wotan) is a smooth operator, ready for verbal jousts with Burkhard Ulrich’s eloquent Loge, Elisabeth Kulman’s properly noble Fricka and especially Tomasz Konieczny, whose Alberich is a youthfully brilliant leader, rhetorically charged with class rage. © 2015 Sinfini Music Read complete review

Gwyn Parry-Jones
MusicWeb International, November 2015

All the singers are excellent; but for me the most outstanding is bass-baritone Tomasz Konieczny in the part of Alberich…

This recording certainly comes with a high recommendation; the way Rattle preserves the forward movement of both music and drama makes it, in my view, superior to fine recent versions by Janowski, Levine, and Gergiev. More please. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Alain Steffen
Pizzicato, November 2015

Sir Simon Rattle’s Rheingold is straightforward and dynamic, with an extremely transparent orchestra and a flawless cast. Among the singers there is not a single one who would be disappointing. So, this must be one of the best recordings of Rheingold for the last four decades at least. © 2015 Pizzicato

Michael Scott Rohan
BBC Music Magazine, November 2015

Simon Rattle has chalked up substantial Ring experience in recent years, …but this performance is surprisingly different. His conducting is fast, as Wagner preferred and intensely dynamic but he avoids Boulez’s glibness, illuminating the drama of the moment in a mercurial, almost Solti-like fashion. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine

Fiona Maddocks
The Guardian, November 2015

The excellent Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra delivers the climactic moments with brilliance and colour, without indulgence or heaviness and, especially in the transformation music, with rare transparency. …Essential listening. © 2015 The Guardian Read complete review

Mike Ashman
Gramophone, October 2015

An impressively played, excellently conducted and engagingly sung Das Rheingold from Rattle, and one recorded in very good sound too. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

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