Classical Album of the Week: JoAnn Falletta Conducts Music From Wagner's Ring Cycle

May 21, 2018

5-21-18.  In Wagner: Orchestral Music from Der Ring des Nibelungen, JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic perform highlights from Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle. Beginning with the first of four music dramas, Das Rheingold, and proceeding through Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung, it’s a thrilling  journey and a chance to be swept up in the magic of Wagner’s orchestral color.

 
Over the years, conductors and editors have worked it out so that audiences hear a greatest hits version of the 15 hours of Wagner’s huge music drama. This recording follows the time-sensitive format of an opus it took the composer a quarter century to complete.   

The works, from the “Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla” in the first drama, to Brünnhilde’s “Immolation” scene from the final opera, are presented here as orchestral showpieces arranged as self-contained tone poems.

The arrangers are all conductors and composers who first worked with Wagner in presenting the operatic Ring.  Alongside Wagner’s publisher, they went on to prepare excerpts for the concert hall.
 
All of these orchestral versions are beautifully performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic, led by Falletta. Get ready to be washed away with an hour-plus of inspiring listening.