The first instalment of the anticipated Australian recording project – the world’s first six-channel super audio CD production of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen four-opera cycle – is reality. For Wagnerphiles, this Walküre should be a compulsory acquisition.
The four operas will make an incredible 16 hours of listening.
The project involved 65 microphones recording 60 hours of performances at the Adelaide Festival Centre in 2004.
Curiously, Melbourne-based Melba founder Maria Vandamme has released the cycle’s second opera first, but Walküre, the most accessible and familiar Ring opera, is the one most likely to grab the public’s attention.
Under young Israeli conductor Asher Fisch’s direction, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and an almost all-Australian assemblage of singers thrillingly bring to life music as brutally demanding as any composed for the human voice.
The other three operas will be released progressively, culminating in a full boxed set of 14 CDs.
The recording’s dedicatee, Melba Foundation founding benefactor, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, is surely a proud woman