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David Matthews' brilliant five-minute arrangement of Wagner's Ring Cycle, was recently given its first public performance by William Howard at the Spitalfields Summer Festival. He originally asked David Matthews if he could reduce the entire Ring Cycle to one minute of piano music, but in the end, David's version, The Shorter Ring, ran to just over a minute each for the four operas. Paul Driver wrote in the Sunday Times (June 23rd 2013): "The endpiece was unforgettable: The Shorter Ring, Matthews's four-movement reduction of Wagner's 15-hour tetralogy to about five minutes. He manages to keep all the original keys (bar one), and the recension could hardly be more deft. But it's playing with emotional fire - as well as Magic Fire Music - so potent are Wagner's inventions, even when barely adumbrated. I left the church reeling." And Helen Wallace wrote of it as follows for the BBC Music Magazine: "The concert ended on a hilarious high with the premiere of David Matthew's The Shorter Ring - the whole of Wagner's Ring cycle done and dusted in five minutes, not a leitmotif left out. Can't imagine a more painless way to enjoy Wagner's 200th anniversary‚Ķ." 

 

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A Five-Minute Ring Cycle!