Twilight of the Gods / Wagner Ring collection 4790638

A strong cast, also led by Terfel, generally sound well . . . a perfect sampler for anyone who wants to know what the Ring is all about, and a snip at a tenner.

. . . the Metropolitan Opera's Ring Cycle, here recorded live, is both magisterially staged by Robert Lepage, and strongly sung by a cast that includes Deborah Voigt, Bryn Terfel and Jonas Kaufmann. The Metżs orchestra is not less consistently fine, conducted by James Levine and Fabio Luisi . . . just enjoy the splendid sound.

. . . sumptuous sounds James Levine summons from the great Met orchestra . . . plush orchestral underlay to support wonderful singers . . . [Eric Owens] is a vivid presence . . . Patricia Bardon delivers a lyrical Erda's Warning with sensuously beautiful tone, devoid of contralto hootiness, and Bryn Terfel's majestic Wotan presides over an excellent family of Gods: Dwayne Croft, especially, makes a star turn of Donner's "Heda, Heda, Hedo" . . . [Richard Croft]: a guileful and sweet-toned Loge. The highlight from "Die Walküre" is Jonnas Kaufmann's "Winterstürme" and the succeeding exchanges with Eva-Maria Westbroek's impassioned Sieglinde. With Terfel, these are singers to compare with some of the finest on disc. Levine's Valkyries, too, are an impressive troupe . . . after Kaufmann, perhaps, there is no one I would prefer to hear in the role.

In Livemitschnitten aus der Metropolitan Opera hat sich die Creme der Klassikwelt versammelt -- angefangen bei Mojca Erdmann als zartstimmigem Waldvogel über das sensationelle "Wälsungenpaar" Eva-Maria Westbroek und Jonas Kaufmann bis hin zum Wotan des Bryan Terfel und der allgegenwärtigen stimmgewaltigen Deborah Voigt als Brünnhilde. Einen gelungeneren Auftakt zum Jubeljahr kann man sich nicht wünschen.