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Gergiev proved himself a naturally authoritative Wagnerian with performances in Cardiffand London, but this first instalment of a complete Mariinsky Ring cycle is if anything even more impressive, red-blooded and exciting. The leads are luxuriously cast: Kaufmann’s dark-hued Siegmund matches Stemme perfectly, and Pape is an utterly convincing Wotan. Warmly recorded in both stereo and surround sound.

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