The recording presented here consists of original music taken from the scores of Richard Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen. The intention of Friedemann Dressler’s arrangement becomes clear from its subtitle: An Orchestral Drama in Two Parts, which refers to the esthetical context to which the mature works of Wagner belong.
Every music lover will be aware that these four large scores contain quite a number of instrumental episodes:
The preludes to the acts as well as many introductions and transitions are part of the musical continuum. Wagner also loved painting moods and emotions through the sound of the orchestra, without any singing voice. As early as 1842 Wagner held the view that also in opera the orchestra should never be reduced to the role of an accompaniment. He explained this in two long essays written in 1849 and 1852, during his Swiss exile: The Artwork of the Future (in German: Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft), and Opera and Drama (in German: Oper und Drama) are a theoretical genesis of his concept of the symphonic technique of leitmotifs (in German Leitmotiv-Technik).
The arrangement recorded here shows that Wagner was one of the most skilled and eminent symphonists of his generation, with a style of composition that was and still is considered unusual. Younger composers, such as Peter Tchaikovsky, indeed recognized and understood this at once. Friedmann Dressler’s Symphonic Ring highlights this particular genius of Richard Wagner, presenting us with an aspect of his works, which, unfortunately, has often been neglected.