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It is a breath-taking project that no one would have thought possible just a few years ago: of all ensembles, it is the early music constellation, Concerto Köln, whose repertoire listeners rather associate with Bach, Mozart and Mendelssohn perhaps, who, led by the American master conductor, Kent Nagano, will tackle Wagner’s “Ring” of all pieces.
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Sept 15th, 2017, Markus Schwering
Kent Nagano and Concerto Köln launch a project on the music of Richard Wagner which is long overdue as apparently no one dares play Wagner on period instruments.
Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung Sept 16th, 2017, Ralf Döring
The dream has a name: Bayreuth. It is here that one day, Richard Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelung” shall be performed on period instruments and in a style that the composer himself considered ideal. However the dreaming itself isn’t taking place in Bayreuth (yet), but in Cologne: the headquarters of the early music ensemble, Concerto Köln. As reported in June, the ensemble developed the idea behind this ambitious project in close collaboration with the conductor, Kent Nagano, who is also the project’s general director.
General-Anzeiger Sept 15th, 2017, Bernhard Hartmann
The period performance movement continues to work its way through the repertoire. Already thriving in baroque, it has since arrived at Richard Wagner […] up next is Wagner’s very own Gesamtkunstwerk, the complete “Ring of the Nibelung”, to challenge modern-day normality in terms of sound. The project title, “Wagner Readings”, is both modest and wise because, as underlined in discussion by the scientific project manager, Kai Hinrich Müller, there can be no one incontrovertible original sound from 1876.
Oper!, October, 2017, Andreas Berger
By now, historical performance practice has already turned up at even a heavyweight like Richard Wagner. Yet a new project between the conductor, Kent Nagano, and the ensemble, Concerto Köln, is certainly rousing interest: Wagner’s complete “Ring” cycle will initially be worked through on a historically-informed basis and then performed accordingly. “Wagner Readings” is the name of this mammoth project.
SWR2 Cluster, Sept 28th, 2017, Jan Ritterstaedt