Henk de Vlieger is a Dutch composer and percussionist who has arranged the music of Richard Wagner into highly accessible concert suites, joining the best-known orchestral sections into nearly seamless outlines of the operas' high points, though without any vocals. His successes have included Parsifal, an orchestral quest; Tristan und Isolde, an orchestral passion; and Meistersinger, an orchestral tribute. But his longest arrangement is The Ring, an orchestral adventure, which draws on the most famous music in Der Ring des Nibelungen. This hybrid SACD by Lawrence Renes and the Royal Swedish Orchestra presents de Vlieger's arrangement in spectacular audiophile sound, and the multichannel format and DSD processing of the recording bring every detail of the stunning performance across. All of the best-known passages are included, among which are the Prelude, the Descent into Nibelheim, and the Entry into Valhalla from Das Rheingold, the Ride of the Valkyries and the Magic Fire Music from Die Walküre, Forest Murmurs and Brünnhilde's Awakening from Siegfried, and Siegfried's Rhine Journey and Siegfried's Funeral Music from Götterdämmerung. This is Wagner for newcomers and casual listeners who may have difficulty penetrating the mythology and complex character relationships in the Ring. It will especially appeal to anyone who loves Wagner's music but would rather avoid the singing, or at least it will help familiarize them with the music before plunging into the operas with both ears.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|The Ring - an orchestral adventure based on Richard Wagner|