Barenboim Kupfer Ring DVD
The Ring Cycle on DVD from Bayreuth in 1991-1992 conducted by Daniel Barenboim and staged & directed by Harry Kupfer with stage design by Hans Schavernoch is constantly mentioned as the top version on DVD:
Der Ring des Nibelungen - on DVD
magazine November 2007
"this is a landmark production on DVD"
magazine Awards edition 2007
"The Best DVD" "strongly conducted"
Mike Ashman writes in Gramophone
"... Daniel Barenboim
manipulated his Festival orchestra with Furtwänglerian virtuosity, huge rits, pauses and all, tailor-made to the stage drama. Many talk of the Entry of the Gods into Valhalla being empty pomp; Barenboim actually plays it as such.
"In his vital British-influenced cast were Siegfried Jerusalem's bare-chested Rambo-ish take on Siegfried, Graham Clark's Mime on the verge of a nervous breakdown with emphasised text and added cackles, Anne Evan's vulnerable, most precisley sung, lighter-than-usual Brünnhilde, and colourful support from Waltraut Meier's Waltraute trying to wrerstle the ring back from Brünnhilde, Linda Finnie's Fricka, and Philip Kang's X-movie, gangster Hagen.
's Wotan runs, dives, falls and embraces, living out every part of the tragedy of his all red-haired Walsung family in a protrayal that may be the most all-embracing since Hotter's. ...
"The DVDs capture the Fritz Lang-like atmosphere of terror that stage director Harry Kupfer gets. Designer Hans Schavernoch alternates wide-open spaces (and a grand use of lasers for fire and water) and rationalised post-nuclear industrial ruins on his deep "road of history" set. Kupfer's East German music-theatre training bridges the gap between older, stage direction-observing narrative and a newer physicality for his actor-singers (the cast work at man-killing intensity). Sample Siegfried's death and funeral march where terrified Good Samaritan spectators rush past his death agonies, and Wotan and Brünnhilde (from opposing sides) grieve over his large pit of a grave. At the end bored yuppie drinkers watch the final conflagration on TV, a premonition of 9/11..."