Melba has released the second opera of its groundbreaking Ring Cycle, stage by the State Opera of South Australia in 2004. The second volume is actually the first opera, Das Rheingold; the first was the second, Die Walküre, which won admiration throughout the musical world. So will this: it is simply superb. The cast is uniformly fine, especially John Bröcheler (Wotan), Elizabeth Campbell (Fricka) and Christopher Doig (Loge), and above all John Wegner, whose Alberich stands out for his dark-toned malevolence. As with Die Walküre, conductor Asher Fisch is utterly in command, balancing his forces and drawing playing of great poise and conviction from the Adelaide orchestra. The lavish booklet matches the performance.
Key track: CD 2, track 6ff, Alberich's renunciation of love and ambition to conquer the world, ended by his confrontation with Loge and Wotan.