Nowadays, performing Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” exactly as the composer intended is looked down upon. In fact, in today’s opera climate, historically accurate performances are far from the norm and somewhat of a lost, if not dead, art.
But Kent Nagano doesn’t care and alongside the Concerto Köln, he is looking to exhume that past and give it new life.
That is exactly his aim with the new “Ring Cycle” project he has already kicked off this year with the aim of performing historically accurate accounts of the tetralogy in 2020-21.
“It is due to historical performance practice that nowadays there is a much different understanding of many composers and their works than was standard 30 or 40 years ago. Moreover, thanks to historicized approaches, we have gained knowledge about instruments and playing techniques which opens up to us new, pioneering pathways into the interpretation and performance of our music,” the maestro said in a press release. “Richard Wagner’s ‘The Ring of the Nibelung’ is probably one of the most researched compositions yet nonetheless, a systematic approach to the tetralogy from a historically-informed perspective has not been attempted thus far. It is therefore all the more important that such an undertaking is tackled and that, in romantic repertoire now as well, normality in terms of sound which seemed irrefutable so far is called into question.
The project entails heavy research that will eventually be published in Open Access. The project has financial backing from the Kunststiftung NRW and the Freunde von Concerto Köln e.V with additional support provided by the Strecker-Stiftung and MBL AkustikgeräteGmbH & Co. KG.