Wednesday, 24 July 2013


I toyed with the idea of shutting myself in my study at home, and listening to the first Proms Ring Cycle on Radio 3, but I'm glad I decided otherwise: it's memorable, to put it mildly, being in the Albert Hall with so superb an orchestra, under a conductor who knows the score backwards (and for all his jewishness is self-evidently a Wagner lover), and a magnificent cast.

After Das Rheingold on Monday, the comment from next door was about how they might have acted more. I didn't mind that - though it was a bit uneven (some acting more than others). I particularly liked Loge in an MCC tie evoking the Ashes: "Spür' ich lockende Lust sie aufzuzehren." ("I am strongly tempted to burn them up.")

After last night's Die Walküre there could have been no such complaint, surely, about lack of drama. Notung was - hinted Sieglinde - embedded in Henry Wood's bust; the dead duly lay down and the sleeping were carried off (which was a pity, as Loge's ring of fire - summoned by Bryn Terfel with three first class stamps of his patent leather shoes - ran round the orchestra and a bare stage).

But no carping allowed! This was quite simply the best Die Walküre I've ever heard.

No comments: