For Das Rheingold story with leitmotives see CD 2A

For the Low Down on the Valkyries see CD 2B

Click any place on the chart to download the appropriate file

1. "The Ring and I": Discussion of Der Ring des Nibelungen

This program was produced last year by WNYC Public Radio station in anticipation of a performance of Richard Wagner's "Ring Cycle" by the Metropolitan Opera. It deals with a number of issues concerning Der Ring des Nibelungen (the Ring cycle) and offers a variety of insights regarding its staging, music, relationship with the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, historical and philosophical background, etc. There are numerous pertinent interviews in a casual atmosphere giving quite a good impression of all the many worlds Wagner's work touches. As the wry title indicates, this is a humorous - but also informative - look into that special world occupied by Wagner's "Music Dramas" and their diehard fans (known as "Wagnerites"). The hour long transmission is divided in three parts. The first third deals with Das Rheingold, the second with Die Walküre and the concluding portion discusses the final two music dramas in the cycle, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. Don't miss the slide show or even better the video clips from the Metropolitan production courtesy of Prof. Weinstock in Texas (click on "Ring Video" third photo from the right, top of page).



2. The "Ring Cycle" lectures by John Culshaw

This set of 4 lectures, one for each opera in the Ring Cycle, was originally prepared for the Metropolitan Opera intermission broadcasts (1975) by John Culshaw. The lectures last approximately 20 minutes each and provide a helpful hand to anyone approaching the Ring Cycle for the first time. They are informative and chatty. Culshaw oversaw classical recordings for the Decca record company in the 1950s and 1960s. He was a pioneer in recording technology and, by pairing his knowledge of Wagner and his knowledge of the recording industry, became the first to produce a complete recording of Wagner's "Ring Cycle".

For on-line synopses of the operas see the Metropolitan Opera site.

For story with slides of a Metropolitan production and a few sound examples as well

For a fine on-line biography of Wagner see the Seattle Opera site.


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