Thursday, 15 March 2012

Thielemann Ringfunk

Christian Thielemann was quite candid about the ‘Nein’ to a CD or DVD release of his recent Vienna Ring, and one of the Staatsoper’s worst kept secrets is that Franz Welser-Möst wielded his GMD veto in the matter.* But the performances were recorded by the ORF and will receive a belated radio broadcast, of which there is no official confirmation yet, though word from Ö1’s leaky sieve is saying 27th & 28th April and 1st & 5th May (available live and on listen again for 7 days here).

The lack of anything approaching sufficient orchestral rehearsal disfigured this entire Ring, with Thielemann visibly beleaguered by the Herculean labour of simply keeping ensemble. My thoughts on the first three evenings (Götterdämmerung was too depressing to write about) were blistering and though I’d liked to be proved overly harsh, the chances of these broadcasts living up to the gushingly extravagant reviews of the Viennese critics are low.

Thielemann returns to the Wiener Staatsoper for Parsifal next month, the new Salzburg Ariadne next December, and a new production of Hänsel und Gretel in 2015.

*To be scrupulously fair, Welser-Möst says inviting Thielemann was his initiative, and who knows, perhaps at some point he wants to record what was, after all, originally his Ring.

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