Richard Wagner’s cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, which consists of 4 music dramas and lasts over 16 hours, has in the first act of Die Walküre an opera en miniature. In one breathtaking arc, Wagner gives musical expression to his thoughts on power, violence, passion and love here. Events focus on three characters as if in a chamber play: the twin siblings Sieglinde and Siegmund, intensely in love with each other, and Sieglinde’s brutal husband, Hunding. In December 2016, the Berliner Philharmoniker presented a concert performance of the work with Eva-Maria Westbroek, Simon O’Neill and Sir John Tomlinson. The musical direction was in the hands of chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle who, in this introduction, explains the composition’s interrelationships.