Wagner: Die Walküre

WORKS: Die Walküre
PERFORMER: Robert Gambill, Attlila Jun, Jan-Hendrik Rootering, Angela Denoke, Renate Behle; Stuttgart Staatsoper & Orchestra/Lothar Zagrosek
CATALOGUE NO: 8.660172-74
This Stuttgart Ring cycle, which was unfurled in 2002-3, not only had a different producer for each segment, but a different cast too, with no consistency, therefore, in the voices of the protagonists. This second installment is not strongly cast, with two exceptions. Most of the voices are afflicted with an acute wobble, and the conductor Lothar Zagrosek, whom I found to be impressive in his command of the great arc which is Rheingold, doesn’t appear to have the measure of Die Walküre. Act I in particular, drags in an inexplicable way, getting slower as it proceeds. It is a tricky act, in that there are so many orchestral passages which have to be dovetailed with the sung ones, and which almost onomatopoeically depict the actions on stage. Here they merely alternate, and seem aimless, and with the uncertain Robert Gambill and tremulous Angela Denoke, the effect is of anything but a blossoming passion. With Acts II and III things get even worse, and without the biting Fricka of Tichina Vaughn this would be lacklustre fare indeed. Michael Tanner