The penultimate music drama in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Siegfried is also the next-to-last release in Marek Janowski’s series of Richard Wagner’s mature operas for PentaTone. Continuing the Ring with the same high standards of musicianship and production exhibited earlier in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Janowski delivers an exciting and highly detailed account in this live unstaged performance with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. Stephen Gould gives a commanding performance as the hero Siegfried, and his strong singing is reminiscent at times of the great heldentenors in this role. Joined by Christian Elsner as Mime, Violeta Urmana as Brünnhilde, Tomasz Konieczny as the Wanderer, and Matti Salminen as Fafner, the cast is solid and cohesive, and their parts are clearly audible, thanks to careful microphone placement. But the real star of this and Janowski’s other Wagner recordings is the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, whose amazing clarity make this a Siegfried for admirers of Wagner’s brilliant orchestral writing. Audiophiles will be thoroughly impressed with the fidelity of the sound on these hybrid multichannel SACDs, and while this rendition has serious competition from the great performances of the past, it’s unbeatable for its close-up presence, vibrant colors, and wide dynamic range. Highly recommended.