(Hong Kong PO/Naxos, four CDs)
Following the Naxos Ring as it has emerged piecemeal since 2015 has turned into a disappointing experience. The recordings of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre suggested the cycle might become a real bargain-price alternative to the half-century of classic accounts already available. But there was uneven casting in the Siegfried, released a year ago, and that lack of consistency and coherence seems even more pronounced in this final instalment, recorded, like the others, in concert in Hong Kong 10 months earlier.
Some elements have remained at a high standard throughout – namely the quality of the playing of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, in particular the authority of Jaap van Zweden’s conducting. His control of the huge musical and dramatic paragraphs of Götterdämmerung is always confident, and the orchestral set pieces – the Rhine Journey and Siegfried’s Funeral March – have an undeniably impressive dramatic presence. But vocally the performances are much less remarkable, with no continuity among the major roles from the previous operas.Continue reading...
Thu Nov 15 16:00:36 CET 2018