Wagner: Das Rheingold

Arnold Whittall
Gramophone (UK)

... The sound is resonant ... Spatial effects are rare ... though in general there is a stronger feel of an actual theatrical event than with the Walküre.

Positively, there is a good deal of fine and well characterised singing, with no serious weaknesses. John Wegner's Alberich is admirable in scenes 3 and 4, quite without the reliance on shouting and barking that often counts for acting with the voice in Wagner. Andrew Collis is an outstanding Fasolt, lyrical but never unduly lachrymose, and well supported by the wily Fafner of David Hibbard. Elizabeth Campbell is an engaging and eloquent Fricka, while Liane Keegan's Erda is surely as fine as any to be heard on disc: an instantly formidable yet beautifully modulated presence.

... John Bröcheler ... there's no lack of power ... Christopher Doig is an equally strong-voiced Loge ... this is undoubtedly a dangerous Loge, more than a match for the no less forceful Wotan.
Das Rheingold is an even greater test for the conductor than Die Walküre ... [Asher Fisch's] avoidance of exaggeration and portentousness are welcome. This Rheingold is more powerful than poignant ... [y]et several of the individual vocal performances are to be savoured, and Wagnerians will be glad to hear them.