Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Richard [Classical] Wagner, Uwe Mund, Uwe Munde|
Wagner: The Ring (Orchestral Highlights)
Educative - an eloquent plea
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 01/12/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although Naxos is, no doubt, first and foremost a commercial enterprise, the label in fact does some priceless work in the field of music education, and I suspect that the October 1988 recording of music from Wagner?s enormous ?Ring? cycle should be categorized as ?educative?, because it obviously serves the purpose ? not of entertaining Wagner fans, who will prefer the whole operas and may turn their noses up at such a selective orchestral offering ? but of opening the door to Wagner at least a chink for listeners such as myself, who would normally have little time or patience for him. This is now the third Naxos CD with Wagner extracts that I have heard, and although they have not converted me to becoming a Wagnerian, they certainly have opened my eyes to the fact that some of my deeply ingrained prejudices against Wagner (chiefly caused by his ideology and his anti-semitism, but also by his moral lapses) cannot bear scrutiny in the face of his innovative gifts in the area of orchestration and his ability to capture what, in German, would be called ?Stimmungsbilder?, tone portrayals of certain moods. The current CD by Austrian conductor Uwe Mund and the comparatively small Slovakian Radio Symphony Orchestra may not be outstanding from the point of view of its playing or its engineering, but it achieves a perfectly acceptable level with some nice brass playing and as such is an eloquent plea to Naxos? customers not to neglect a composer who is known to polarise. The purely instrumental version of the ?Ride of the Walkyries? is certainly the best-known number on the CD and should possibly be heard first, the ?Forest Murmurs? are perhaps next in accessibility. Fortunately, Naxos has provided liner notes for the beginner which give a brief summary of the entire plot of the ?Ring?."