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Ring of the Nibelungen from the 2013 Proms Currently Available

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As part of the Wagner Centennial year, the BBC Proms presented concert versions of Wagner's "Ring of the Nibelungen," "Tannhauser," and "Tristan und Isolde."

This past week BBC 3 rebroadcast them, and they are available for seven days after the rebroadcast by clicking the "Listen Again" button on the following pages, which also include the cast lists:

Das Rheingold (rebroadcast Monday, 24 December):


Die Walkure (rebroadcast Tuesday, 25 December):


Siegfried (rebroadcast Thursday, 27 December):


Die Gotterdammerung (rebroadcast Friday, 28 December):


Daniel Barenboim conducted the Berlin Staatskappelle and the Royal Opera Chorus. Three different Wotans, two different Siegfrieds, and one goddess as Brunnhilde: Nina Stemme.

I've been listening all week. One of my favorite scenes is the Waltraute (Waltraud Meier)/Brunnhilde confrontation in "Die Gotterdammerung." I'd always loved the narrative, but never appreciated how it's part of a pattern in The Ring in which the participants are tone-deaf to and/or underestimate their audience: Alberich to the Rhine Daughters, The Rhine Daughters to Siegfried, Mime to the Wanderer, Wotan to Fricka, Brunnhilde to Siegfried (in "Siegfried"), and Brunnhilde to Siegmund, and Waltraute to Brunnhilde.

The latter two are structurally similar, because the message each brings is "This is important to me and my interests, so it must be important to you and yours" -- Waltraute is still channeling Brunnhilde from her Todesverkundigung days, except she sticks to the script -- and all these years while I'd been distracted by the story in Waltraute's narrative, I'd always thought it an irreconcilable situation, missing the possibility that if Waltraute had any insight -- not that she had much experience by which to gain it -- she might have framed her request differently.

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