"... This is a Walküre for connoisseurs : a vitally engaged conductor leading singers with voices that are ideal for their parts and who understand their characters from extensive onstage experience but aren’t burdened with costumes, make-up or weird directorial conceits. This is going to be one hell of a Ring."
Andrew Quint - Fanfare - July/August 2013
"...His [Gergiev] cast ... is exemplary. Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Kampe are the Wälsung twins, drawing you inexorably into the drama from the word go. Vocally Kaufmann is unmatched on record, a herocially dark tenor with ringing top notes. Kampe gives him a run for his money with full, rich tone and beautiful text work. Nina Stemme is a fine Brünnhilde, projecting the character’s emotional journey better than any of her current contemporaries... René Pape is equally fine as Wotan, warmly resonant and powerfully inside the drama..." ****½
Clive Paget - Limelightmagazine.com.au - 30 May 2013
**** - Good
Rémy Franck - Pizzicato magazine - May 2013
"...Gergiev’s conducting is rich in detail... taut with drama and yet managing to remain spacious ... The cast is deluxe, caught at the height of its combined vocal prowess..." ****
Francis Muzzu - Opera Now magazine - May 2013
Music ***½ (Good/Very Good) Sound **** (Very Good)
Bjørn Woll - Fono Forum magazine - May 2013
Performance ***** Recording *****
"... Most exciting of all is Nina Stemme’s Brünnhilde, larger-voiced and steelier than one might expect, yet feminin, spirited and vulnerable... The Mariinsky Orchestra plays in vital form ... So far this recalls, and must rank with, the great Rings of the 1960’s. More, please."
Michael Scott Rohan - BBC Music magazine - May 2013
"...A sterling reading of superior value ... Gergiev seems to have a natural affinity for Wagner’s music ... these readings from three separate concert performances spanning almost a year from 2011-12 are superior in all respects, a model of how surround Wagner should sound. Productions values remain high ... Not to be missed." *****
Steven Ritter - AudiophileAudition.com - 15 March 2013
"...This is a most auspicious start to the Mariinsky Ring cycle on disc - and one that all Wagnerians will wish to investigate..."
"...In the first act at least, with Jonas Kaufmann as an incomparable Siegmund, Anja Kamp a profoundly moving Sieglinde and Gergiev pacing the performance to an overwhelming climax, the result is spellbinding. In fact, few performances on disc can match it for sheer excitement, or for Kaufmann’s blend of easy power, immaculate diction and lyric beauty ... Gergiev obtains transcendently beautiful playing from the Mariinsky Orchestra"
Andrew Clements - The Guardian - 01 February 2013
Recording of the Month
***** - Exceptional
Also nicastro - Musica magazine - March 2013
"This Mariinsky Die Walküre is the first release of the company’s Ring cycle. The recording is based on concert performances that Valery Gergiev conducted. Any misgivings I may have had regarding Gergiev as a Wagner conductor were blown away by his superb 2009 recording of Parsifal and then by a concert performance of it at the Barbican Hall in April 2012... The warmth and generosity of Stemme’s singing make her a particularly sympathetic Brünnhilde (and will do more so, probably, in the last two music-dramas) and she is thrilling in the Act Three plea-bargaining with Wotan. With a full-throttle ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ and some sumptuous orchestral playing, this is a Die Walküre to be reckoned with."
Peter Reed - ClassicalSource.com - 18 February 2013