Wagner / Swensen / Welton - Ring Odyssey | RECORD STORE DAY
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'If, in a parallel universe, Wagner wrote a symphony rather than a sixteen-hour Ring, it might actually resemble my Ring Odyssey.' These are the words used by the new music director of the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Joseph Swensen, to present this anthology of Der Ring des Nibelungen for soprano, tenor, bass-baritone, male chorus and orchestra, which he composed on the basis of Wagner's monumental tetralogy. The American conductor confesses that, during a performance of Tristan, Wagner was suddenly revealed to him as 'a dreamer' full of 'humility, tenderness, vulnerability and generosity'. Swensen has made a point of following the chronology of the operas and respecting the original music: 'My solemn promise to Wagner was that, aside from the occasional solo timpani roll denoting the passage of time, I would not change or add a single note to his masterpiece.' An enthralling traversal, recorded at a memorable concert and delivered by exceptionally committed singers and instrumentalists.