A superb introduction to Valhalla!
Y. Shuster | forest hills, New York United States | 11/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent contribution to the many Rheingolds on the market. Haitink's pacing of the score is quite good - not too fast, not too slow -- and the orchestra plays on a very high level. James Morris, as Wotan, is amazing, and in better voice than his later foray in the role under Levine. The other singers are all very, very good, particularly, Zednik as Loge. Even the Erda, a cameo role, stands out. In fact, I can think of nothing negative to say about the performance. The opera's two and half hours went by quickly and enjoyably!"
"Denn hor es die Fluth - so verfluch' ich die Liebe!"
Eric S. Kim | Southern California | 07/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't a perfect Rheingold. And it isn't a terrible one, either. Haitink leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with accurate precision and roughness that the Levine set lacks. Sure, it's not as beautiful as Levine, but it certainly makes more sense when played correctly.
The singers are good, too. James Morris is a definitive Wotan of our time. Heinz Zednik can be best described as brilliant as Loge: he has that cunning alright. Marjana Lipovsek as Fricka is lovable, as is Jadwiga Rappé as Erda. Peter Haage is not a very great Mime (sounds childish, maybe), but he is a good one. The giants (Hans Tschammer & Kurt Rydl) sound stunning.
The one problem I had with this set was Theo Adam. I love him as Wotan (both in Bohm and Janowski Rings), but hearing him as a dwarf doesn't really seem right. Sure, it's a surprise to hear him as Alberich, but he sounds too heavy and too old for the role.
But Adam aside, this is a great Rheingold, which is sadly one of the only good things about this entire Ring. Read my review on Walkure and see why . . .
Die Walkure: Wagner: Die Walküre
Siegfried: Wagner: Siegfried - Siegfried Jerusalem, Kiri TeKanawa, Theo Adam, Eva Marton, James Morris, Bernard Haitink
Gotterdammerung: Wagner: Gotterdammerung - Siegfried Jerusalem, Eva Marton, Theo Adam, Thomas Hampson, Bernard Haitink"