Which Wagner: which Walkure: Boulez or Levine?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dennis Nicholls, Oct 21, 2001.

  1. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    We're starting to get choices in our opera DVDs. October 30th is the release date for Der Ring des Nibelungen, the 2001 Bayreuth production under Pierre Boulez (DD 5.1). I may only be able to put up with a copy of Die Walkure out of this set. But for Die Walkure there is another DVD version, a 1991 performance by the Met under James Levine (PCM). Zimmer doesn't have a listing over at dOc yet. Anybody got an opinion about these two performances?
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  2. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  3. andrew markworthy

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    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think the Boulez production is the one from the early 1980s. If so, then I've seen both productions on the TV, and I personally would go for the Boulez. The production is more imaginative and arguably the overall performances are better. However, be warned that the staging isn't to everyone's taste, and Boulez's tempi are a *lot* faster than most other conductors'.
     
  4. Nathan_H

    Nathan_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Boulez is modernised -- hydro-eletrci damn instead of the rhine. Think "Seller's versions of Mozart, but not as successful by a significant margin". That is, an interesting but largely questionable modernization.
    Levine is much more traditional, and tends to be regarded as a successful traditional staging.
     
  5. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    While I have not seen the Levine version, it has the reputation as being one of the best traditional stagings of the "Ring". I have seen the Chereau's 1977 Bayreuth production which was conducted by Boulez when it was broadcast over four weekends on the BBC back in the mid 80's. When it first hit the stage, theatre goers and critics were scandalized due to its modern staging. Now it is considered a classic. I bought "Rheingold" on a Phillips LD from the 1980 cycle. Wonderful stuff. Great performances and Boulez keeps the action going. The fast tempi work for this produciton. Too bad I could not afford the rest of it. Can't wait for the DVD.
     
  6. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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