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Unitel recorded Alfred Kirchner's production of Wagner's "Götterdämmerung",
with sets and costumes by Rosalie, in 1997, the fourth year in which it was
shown. The production drew chiefly positive reactions from the press, even
eliciting an audacious "stupendous" from the staid Vienna daily "Der
Standard". Unanimously lauded was James Levine's musical direction. In its
review of the 1994 premiere, Germany's leading daily "Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung" underscored the superb orchestral playing and topped
its encomium by adding that Levine "communicated to the Festival Orchestra
the quality of tone which Wagner himself must have had in mind when
speaking of 'his' orchestra..." In light of the superb music-making on and
under the stage, most reviewers welcomed the rather Spartan goings-on among
the gods and mortals in Rosalie's outfits. On the whole, critics felt that
the production adapted itself subtly to Levine's epic musical concept.
Kirchner presents a relatively straightforward depiction of the legend and
lets the singers deploy their glorious instruments under the sensitive
hands of James Levine. The production won over more and more theater-goers
in the following two years, and in 1996 Vienna's "Standard" was able to
write: "After Siegfried, the audience ... leapt up from their seats in
jubilation, giving way to total ecstasy at the appearance of the conductor
James Levine. No conductor has been so tempestuously acclaimed in Bayreuth
since the days of Hans Knappertsbusch and Karl Böhm."
||Wolfgang Schmidt, Falk Struckmann, Ekkehard Wlaschiha, Eric Halfvarson, Deborah Polaski, Anne Schwanewilms, Hanna Schwarz
||Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele
||Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele
||Horant H. Hohlfeld