Wagner: Das Rheingold

Paul Turok
Turok's Choice (US)

Wagner’s Ring, performed live by the State Opera of South Australia (with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, under Asher Fisch) has been superbly recorded in SACD sound. Issue No.185 dealt with the first release, Walküre. Rheingold and Siegfried have now been added (MR 301089-90, two discs, MR 301095-98, four discs, respectively). … All the singing is carefully phrased, with an emphasis on discrete pitches rather than broad legato, suggesting a general approach by Fisch that allows maximum appreciation of Wagner’s textures and phrase structure, but less emotion than can be produced by laying on the intensity. Since the principal singers don’t have the kind of glorious voices that effectively lay on intensity, the approach is not only refreshingly different but well suited to the circumstances. Fisch is a fine Wagner conductor; Rheingold “breathes” beautifully. Christopher Doig (Loge) … Elizabeth Campbell (Fricka) … and Liane Keegan (Erda) … all three sing effectively. (Keegan is superb in the scene where she tells Wotan to give up the ring!)