Wagner: Siegfried

The Hallé completes its highly regarded Ring cycle, with the live recording of its acclaimed Bridgewater Hall performance under Sir Mark Elder.

“Roaring jubilation and radiant beauty from Elder and the Halle…. Elder is a superb Wagnerian, acutely conscious of the complex relationship between tempo and pace, and immaculate in his judgment both of the span of each act and the ebb and flow of detail within it. Thrilling climaxes alternated with moments of astonishing beauty and quiet, almost exquisite terror.” The Guardian on the Halle’s performance of Siegfried

The third element of Wagner’s Ring cycle contains humour, drama and a concluding ecstasy as the eponymous hero meets his heroine Brünnhilde, setting up the explosive finale of the concluding opera. With enormous orchestral forces and dramatic use of leitmotiv themes the music portrays the full gamut of emotions and provides a perfect vehicle to display the heights of the Hallé’s powers under Elder.

Recorded at the Bridgewater Hall, capturing all the drama of the acclaimed live performance

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"The recorded sound, as one expects from the experienced Hallé team in Manchester, is of the first order" - Paul Corfield Godfrey (MusicWeb)

The oustanding performances here come from the Halle and their musical director/ With quality playing from all departments, Wagner's complex orchestral timbres are carefully presented, while Elder realises the crucial blend of lyricism with drama in an ideally paced performance.

- George Hall

The final instalment of Elder’s concert Ring is valuable above all for the conductor’s masterly pacing of the score and the orchestra’s magnificent playing. The horn soloist, Ben Goldscheider, is superb.

- HC (The Sunday Times)

"Standards are certainly maintained across this four-CD set, the close, as thrilling and atmospheric as the start...Elder makes a virtue of the concert presentation; freed from the constraints of the opera house, he can pace the music on its own terms, and tell the story purely through his own score.Throughout this cycle, his tempos have been steady, but this isn't grand or imperious Wagner, itis more about teasing out the details of the score, and about giving all of the musicians, and particularly the orchestral soloists, the space to inhabit the music. The dramatic flow is never threatened with Elder demonstrating an intuitive grasp of the structure and pace of each act: The music-making always feels urgent, but never hurried...The Halle sounds fabulous here, with excellent ensemble from the strings, palpable weight from the lower brass, and characterful solos from the woodwinds. The orchestra also includes a cameo appearance by horn players Ben Goldscheider, a recent finalist in BBC Young Musician, for Siegfried's Horn Call. He brings plenty of character to it, and, again, Elder gives him plenty of space. The players are well recorded too, the sound clear, vibrant, and involving.

- Gavin Dixton

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