Jaap van Zweden / Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Wagner: Götterdämmerung

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Completing their Ring cycle on Naxos, Jaap van Zweden and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra have at last released their much anticipated recording of Götterdämmerung, which proves conclusively that this enterprise was a success. There had been some concern that Wagner's tetralogy would be an insurmountable challenge for this inexperienced orchestra, and that an untried conductor and singers would be unable to give convincing performances from start to finish. Beginning with the release of Das Rheingold in 2015, which was followed by Die Walküre in 2016 and Siegfried in 2017, the performances showed increasing confidence and commitment, not least from van Zweden, who had planned this project since he began his tenure with the orchestra in 2012, but also from the orchestra, which provided consistently solid playing and many moments of sheer brilliance. Featuring soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin as Brünnhilde, tenor Daniel Brenna as Siegfried, bass-baritone Shenyang as Gunther, and bass Eric Halfvarson as Hagen, this live recording of Götterdämmerung boasts capable singing and sufficient drama for a concert performance, though, as has been evident throughout this Ring, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra has outdone itself with its rich sonorities, polished execution, and expressive depth, and risen to star status in its own right. Connoisseurs of the great Wagner performances of the past may find van Zweden's Ring unsatisfying, mostly because it lacks legendary voices and the patina of age, but listeners who have less experience with Wagner recordings will find the music is clearly played and the singing is exceptional for a modern version.

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:48
2 3:21
3 4:06
4 8:44
5 6:48
6 8:02
7 2:15
8 4:23
9 6:49
10 7:33
11 3:04
12 8:36
13 2:31
14 3:24
15 5:03
blue highlight denotes track pick