The Berlin Philharmonic plays Wagner “The Ring Without Words”

It has been Lorin Maazel’s conviction that the orchestral score to Wagner’s epic Ring cycle is itself, the Ring. That the epic legend of the four operas is contained wholly in the orchestral score of The Ring Without Words. This assertion is certainly backed up by Wagner’s use of leitmotifs, associating characters, places and ideas with a short, recurring musical phrases. So, when Telarc asked Maestro Maazel in 1987 if he would make a purely orchestral distillation of the Ring that would fit on one CD, he was very receptive. The result is the seventy-five minute symphonic synthesis of Wagner’s Ring to be heard and viewed on this EuroArts Video.

Maazel’s continuous musical score, seventy-five minutes without a break, begins with the opening tones of Rheingold and ends with the closing measures of Götterdämmerung. The music flows in the same order that it appears over the course of the four operas and most of the leitmotifs are present. The music is all Wagner’s. No connecting or transitional passages have been added and not a note has been changed.

This fascinating project was recorded at the Philharmonie Berlin in October 2000. It is sumptuously performed by the Berlin Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel, and has been captured in stunning audio and video by the EuroArts technicians. But wait, there’s more! EuroArts is practically giving this video away! You can get the DVD or the Blu-Ray version – either one – for less than $10. Why? The folks at EuroArts are determined to get their 130 page full color catalog into your hands, which is included in this package.

I say let them do it. I know that I did.

Album Overview

Strongly influenced by the comments of Richard Wagner’s grandson, Wieland, about the importance of the orchestra in the Ring, Lorin Maazel eventually agreed to produce a symphonic synthesis of the tetralogy, which he called The Ring Without Words. It is a seventy-five-minute orchestral distillation that is designed with the express purpose of bringing the magic of these monumental music dramas to a new audience of musically sensitive listeners through the sumptuous playing that he draws from the Berlin Philharmonic. Recorded live at Philharmonie Berlin, 2000. The DVD Edition includes the new EuroArts & Idéale Audience Catalogue with all 2012 releases.


Composer/Conductor: Lorin Maazel

For over five decades, Lorin Maazel has been one of the world’s most esteemed and sought-after conductors. In spring 2011, he completed his fifth and final season as the inaugural Music Director of the spectacular, Santiago Calatrava-designed opera house in Valencia, Spain, the … read more

Performers: Berliner Philharmoniker

In spring 1882 Benjamin Bilse announced plans to take his already underpaid orchestra to Warsaw travelling fourth class. 50 of his musicians reached breaking point. Calling themselves the “former Bilse Kapelle”, they… read more


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