℗ © 2013 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin Under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon & Decca Classics, U.S., a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
Deutsche Grammophon presents a new recording of Wagner's Das Rheingold by the Vienna State Opera, conducted by leading Wagner interpreter and conductor Christian Thielemann. Thielemann, a longtime protoge of Karajan, was named the Bayreuth Festival Musical Advisor in 2008.
Wotan - ALBERT DOHMEN
Donner - MARKUS EICHE
Froh - HERBERT LIPPERT
Loge - ADRIAN ERÖD
Alberich - TOMASZ KONIECZNY
Mime - WOLFGANG SCHMIDT
Fasolt - LARS WOLDT
Fafner - AIN ANGER
Fricka - JANINA BAECHLE
Freia - ALEXANDRA REINPRECHT
Erda - ANNA LARSSON
Woglinde - ILEANA TONCA
Wellgunde - ULRIKE HELZEL
Flosshilde - ZORYANA KUSHPLER
Plot Synopsis (from included liner notes):
The riverbed of the Rhine
Alberich, a Nibelung, courts the love of the three Rhine-daughters. They pretend to comply but manage to elude him cleverly in the end. The gold guarded by the Rhinedaughters comes into view. Anyone forswearing love for ever can forge from it the ring which will give him limitless power. Alberich curses love and makes off with the gold.
An open space on a mountain top
The god Wotan welcomes the completion of his fortress by the giants Fasolt and Fafner. His wife Fricka complains indignantly that Freia, the goddess of youth, is the stipulated reward for the giants’ work. Freia, pursued by the giants, seeks Wotan’s protection. The gods Donner and Froh hurry to their sister’s aid. Wotan tries to put the giants off; he hopes Loge, the god of fire, will mediate, but Loge can find no substitute for Freia’s beauty. He can speak only of Alberich’s deed. Wotan, Fricka and the giants are suddenly made aware of the reality of power. The giants are prepared to give Freia up in return for the ring, which Loge advises Wotan to steal from AIberich. The giants hold Freia as security until the time is up. Wotan leaves for Nibelheim with Loge to rob Alberich of the symbol of his power. The other gods remain.
Rendered invisible by a magic helmet, Alberich brutally drives his brother Mime and the Nibelungs to pile the stolen gold into a hoard. When Wotan and Loge appear, Mime bemoans his fate to them. Alberich prophetically tells his “guests” that they too fall under his sway. He proudly shows them the hoard and explains about the helmet. Demonstrating his ability to change shape, Alberich turns first into a dragon. When he then turns himself into a tiny frog, Wotan and Loge seize the magic helmet, bind the Nibelung, now returned to normal, and drag him away from his subterranean realm.
An open space on a mountain top
Wotan and Loge demand Alberich’s hoard in return for his freedom. Outwitted, he reluctantly has the treasure brought in. But the gods are not satisfied with the hoard and demand Alberich’s magic helmet and ring as well. In the end Wotan has to tear the ring violently from him against fierce resistance. Alberich withdraws, cursing the ring an,d all who claim it as theirs: let it bring death upon its owner and envy upon him who covets it. The giants appear with Freia. To redeem the goddess, Wotan has to part with the treasures he has just captured. He surrenders everything – except the ring, which he will not yield. Despite the other gods’ warnings he insists on keeping his stolen power. Reminded of Alberich’s curse by Erda, the omniscient primeval mother, Wotan is finally prepared to relinquish the ring. The Nibelung’s curse comes true: Fafner kills his brother Fasolt in a fight over sharing the spoils. After Donner, wielding his hammer, has cleared the oppressive atmosphere with a cleansing thunder clap, the gods enter the fortress, which Wotan salutes with the name Valhalla. Only Loge hangs back mistrustfully. The gods’ procession into Valhalla is accompanied by the Rhinedaughters’ lamenting over their lost gold.
Translation: Robert Jordan