CDs / DVDs, 28. October 2006

Hartmut Haenchen (conducting the brilliant Rotterdam Philharmonic) conducts with some brisk tempi, but still leaves time for the music to breathe where necessary, and the Act III prelude has quite an effect in DTS when you turn the volume up – as I’m sure my neighbours will testify.
Overall, another successful episode from the Amsterdam Ring, and one which is a definite improvement on the Siegfried from Barcelona (also reviewed). I’m looking forward to the final chapter.
Musically, Hartmut Haenchen produces just the right amount of dramatic intensity, and the Netherlands Philharmonic play very well indeed, although overall, I preferred the sound of the Rotterdam Phil in their parts of the cycle. The larger orchestra interludes though (notably the Rhein journey and the funeral music) are as good as you would want them with very little on stage to get in the way of the music (there is definitely no surfing down the Rhein nonsense in last year’s ENO production)..

...this is a fitting conclusion to a fine Ring Cycle, and one which certainly stands up well against the growing number of DVD versions being made available..
Alan Titherington