Der Ring des Nibelungen: Season 1, Episode 4

Götterdämmerung (1981)

TV Episode  |   |  Fantasy, Drama, Music
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 46 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

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Episode credited cast:
Jeannine Altmeyer ...
Hermann Becht ...
Katie Clarke ...
3. Norn
Ilse Gramatzki ...
Fritz Hübner ...
Gwyneth Jones ...
Manfred Jung ...
Gwendolyn Killebrew ...
Franz Mazura ...
Marga Schiml ...
Gabriele Schnaut ...
2. Norn
Norma Sharp ...
Ortrun Wenkel ...
1. Norn


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Fantasy | Drama | Music





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1981 (West Germany)  »

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Follows Der Ring des Nibelungen: Das Rheingold (1980) See more »

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1980 Chereau Ring Cycle: Part 4
22 April 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

All four operas of Wagner's Ring Cycle are amazing and feature some of the best music of any opera(Wotan's Farewell especially). Of the four Chereau productions of the early 80s, I did like them all, but my favourite was Die Walkure. This Gotterdammerung is still a very good production if my least favourite of the four. Visually it is acceptable, with the destruction of Valhalla quite impressive, if lacking Siegfried's lushness and Die Walkure's authority. While the colour could have had more clarity it does look and sound good on DVD.The production does fare brilliantly musically though. The orchestral playing is so powerful and gripping throughout, and Pierre Boulez's conducting is insightful and never rushes or drags. The performances are great. Manfred Jung and Gwyneth Jones have been seen as controversial casting, but while I can see why I liked them both. Jung is naturalistic and engaging as Siegfried, though the character goes on a more believable journey in Siegfried, and copes well with the role's demands even with some strident tone(like in the prologue) and the nagging feeling that you wish there was a more powerful voice.

Jones doesn't have the most beautiful voice of anybody singing Brunnhilde, but I still thought she was wonderful. Brunnhilde is a huge role and one of Wagner's most taxing I think, and Jones' singing is powerful and often thrilling, if losing some sensuous quality at the top and she is incredibly gripping on stage, intensely and moving. Of everybody else, I was impressed with Franz Mazura's Gunther, very resonant singing and an evocative interpretation. Jeannine Altmeyer effectively conveys sorrow and rage as Gutrune, Hermann Brecht booms and makes the skin crawl as Alberich and Gwendolyn Killebrew impresses as Waltraute. Fritz Hubner is in better voice than as his mostly effective but woolly Fafner in Siegfried, and while his Hagen is not as terrifyingly evil as Matti Salminen(the best in the role on DVD in my opinion) it is still a more than reliable performance. Overall, very good if not quite knocking my socks off like Die Walkure did.

8/10 Bethany Cox

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