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Author Topic: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...  (Read 71159 times)

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Offline trung224

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #660 on: January 30, 2012, 05:48:00 AM »
    The Solti's Ring still is the benchmark, because the casting is marvelous, the orchestral playing is super, Solti has the solid approach, and it is stereo with the best sound. But for me, this cycle should only the first ring, because Solti don't offer so much insightful interpretation. The tempo is moderate, phrasing is ordinary, all his goal is reach the climax, such as Ho-jo-to-ho. This approach works best in Siegfried, but not great IMO in Die Walküre and Götterdämmerung. I think Keilberth Ring suffers from the similar mistake.
   For me, the three best Ring is from Furtwängler, Knappertsbusch and Karajan. The Furtwängler Ring has the bad sound, but the interpretation is super, he can easily reach the power like Solti, but he produce highly passionate in the slow scene. Karajan produce the beauty and melody of the Ring better than most conductor,even if the cast  is not strong, that only because he want it. He don't want Bruhilde like Nilsson, full of power,passion but lack the love, that why he choose Dernesch and Crespin. Knappertbusch is hard to describe, but for me it is spiritual, especially in Götterdämmerung
    For the modern recording, I like Boulez and Thielemann best because they both offer the unconventional approach to the Ring
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 05:51:43 AM by trung224 »

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #661 on: January 30, 2012, 06:09:41 AM »
Excellent choices!  I am sorry but I can't stand Karajan's Die Walkure. It is seriously lacking in vocal oomph! A major flaw in my opinion.

Marvin, seriously, dude, you need to get your ears adjusted  ;) Janowitz, Vickers, Stewart, Talvela, Veasey, all young, in their prime..lacking in vocal oomph??? No, no...absolutely wrong. Vickers is the most passionate Siegmund on record (you really prefer King?); Janowitz the most sheerly beautiful vocally. She's just breathtaking. Is it any wonder Siegmund commits incest?  ;D

"Jon Vickers's performance as Siegmund is superb....He begins the "Spring Song" truly poetically, and as he is in splendid voice the heroic moments are most exciting....One realizes how much James King—though I liked him more than some critics— missed in the part."--Gramophone

"Josephine Veasey's Fricka has been justly admired at Covent Garden. Christa Ludwig was very good indeed in the part but it is true that her upper range has now become soprano-like and this makes Veasey's true mezzo-soprano better suited to the enraged utterances of the goddess. This is a finely sung and distinguished performance." --Gramophone

"Martti Talvela is a magnificent Hunding, as menacing as Frick and with as black a voice, but with the tonal power the latter cannot now so easily command.  --Gramophone

"Thomas Stewart has a magnificent voice of ample power and range...There is nothing "gritty" in his Wotan and his enunciation and phrasing are excellent. I should not be surprised to learn that he had studied the part with Hotter." --Gramophone

Solti recorded Walküre last and half his cast was ready for the geriatric ward  ;D Sure, Nilsson is impressive, if steely, but she gives little hint of vulnerability or femininity. That's not a defect in the Second Act but it is by the end of the Third (and on into Siegfried and Götterdämmerung where she's no longer a goddess, but a woman). But if you must have her Brünnhilde, she's even better for Böhm.

Edit: To be fair I have to mention that, despite those positive quotes, AR at Gramophone still picked Solti's Walküre as a first choice on account of Nilsson.


Sarge
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 06:25:36 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
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Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline jlaurson

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #662 on: January 30, 2012, 06:50:18 AM »
  Hi Sarge and JLaurson. ...give me an aging wobbling Hotter over a youthful unknown any day. 

No apologies necessary... and tastes can of course differ. But the above statement does elicit a "WHY??" in my head. (Never mind that I don't quite agree with calling Thomas Stewart (a youthful unknown.)


Remembering Thomas Stewart: Wotan, Wanderer, Gunther, Sachs, Dutchman, Telramund, Amfortas extraordinaire

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/09/remembering-thomas-stewart-wotan.html

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #663 on: January 30, 2012, 06:55:05 AM »
No apologies necessary... and tastes can of course differ. But the above statement does elicit a "WHY??" in my head. (Never mind that I don't quite agree with calling Thomas Stewart (a youthful unknown.)


Remembering Thomas Stewart: Wotan, Wanderer, Gunther, Sachs, Dutchman, Telramund, Amfortas extraordinaire

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/09/remembering-thomas-stewart-wotan.html

This is sometimes the way of it with voices in opera. There are some singers that hit a sweet spot and others who can never satisfy, no matter how good they are. It can be quite inexplicable and sometimes will have no rational basis.

EDIT: Regarding 'no rational basis' I was actually thinking more of myself and some singers I like or dislike. Not meant to be personal (attack) in any way here!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 06:59:23 AM by mc ukrneal »
Offenbach gets a raw deal in recordings considering his talent! For a discussion of this outstanding composer too little recorded: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,5572.

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #664 on: January 30, 2012, 06:55:35 AM »
  Gentlemen, I was thinking of a proper response to all that I have read.  I wrote a passionate plea for the Solti over Karajan and removed it.  I do not know what to say but this: I need power and aggression with Wagner's Ring.  It enhances the dramatic effect of the cycle.  I need heavy powerful dominant voices, an aggressive approach and a sense of urgency.  Karajan's approach of highlighting the beautiful aspects of the score etc. etc. while admirable is not sufficient to make it a first choice recommendation.  I can not say more than this. Krauss, Solti and Bohm will always be my go-to Rings.

  marvin

Offline karlhenning

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #665 on: January 30, 2012, 06:55:46 AM »
And the aging wobbling Hotters are entitled to a little happiness, too, one supposes.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #666 on: January 30, 2012, 08:06:41 AM »
  Gentlemen, I was thinking of a proper response to all that I have read.  I wrote a passionate plea for the Solti over Karajan and removed it.  I do not know what to say but this: I need power and aggression with Wagner's Ring.  It enhances the dramatic effect of the cycle.  I need heavy powerful dominant voices, an aggressive approach and a sense of urgency.  Karajan's approach of highlighting the beautiful aspects of the score etc. etc. while admirable is not sufficient to make it a first choice recommendation.  I can not say more than this. Krauss, Solti and Bohm will always be my go-to Rings.

  marvin

I'm sorry you removed it, Marvin. Debate is always good. MAD should see the reasons people make their choices. Who knows? Solti might be the better Ring for MAD (he does love Solti's "power and aggression" in Mahler).

I have no problem with your preference for Solti. You certainly aren't alone (we Karajan supporters are in the minority--not in this thread, but everywhere else). I just think other conductors dig deeper, find more nuance, beauty and--the word I love--poetry in the score. As far as Hotter: even in his unwobbly youth, he was not my favorite Wotan. (I'm crazy, I know  ;D ) As Neal says, "There are some singers that hit a sweet spot" and despite his legendary status, Hotter doesn't hit mine. I prefer Stewart and especially Tomlinson (Barenboim). I just prefer the sound of their voices. I think Tomlinson inhabits the role as surely, and with similar insight, as Hotter did.

Solti, Karajan, Böhm, Furtwängler, Krauss, Barenboim....hey, it's all good  8)  We're blessed with choice today. Why, when I was MAD's age, hamburgers cost a nickel and the only Ring cycle available was Furtwängler...if you could even find it in a shop (I never saw it).

Sarge
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 08:14:57 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline karlhenning

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #667 on: January 30, 2012, 08:09:56 AM »
I'm sorry you removed it, Marvin. Debate is always good.

And certainly, an impassioned plea for any recording/artist/composer/work is of interest to read, whether or not the reader agree with it all. Or any of it.

Marvin, you were rash!  But then, of course, you are a Wagner enthusiast : )
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Sadko

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #668 on: January 30, 2012, 09:57:39 AM »
I'm sorry you removed it, Marvin. Debate is always good.

Yes, I agree, and although passionate it wasn't without giving reasons to check and discuss.

And poor me Solti-Ring lover needs support here ;)

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #669 on: January 30, 2012, 10:19:43 AM »
Thank you all for your feedback. All very interesting to read and of course very helpful.

I still have the urge to own Karajan's cycle more than any other it seems. Probably Bohm after that. I'll probably end up picking up the Solti and Barenboim not long after though, if I have the money (!), as I really do see the Ring becoming an absolute favourite work of mine. Plus, the Solti is such a classic recording that it probably deserves to be in everyone's collection. However, I did listen to the Immolation Scene from Solti's recording on youtube and was not as impressed as I hoped to be. The sound quality wasn't at its best it seemed, plus the performance was not as powerful and beautiful to me as the Karajan Immolation Scene I heard.

There seems to be a lot of debate about the quality of singers, which makes me think that it may be up to personal taste. I guess I'll just work out my personal taste after listening to various different cycles. But as a start, will go with the Karajan.

Thank you again for all your help, choosing a first Ring Cycle has been a really tough process. To the birthday list the Karajan Ring goes. :D
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Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #670 on: January 30, 2012, 11:47:32 AM »
Thank you all for your feedback. All very interesting to read and of course very helpful.

I still have the urge to own Karajan's cycle more than any other it seems. Probably Bohm after that. I'll probably end up picking up the Solti and Barenboim not long after though, if I have the money (!), as I really do see the Ring becoming an absolute favourite work of mine. Plus, the Solti is such a classic recording that it probably deserves to be in everyone's collection. However, I did listen to the Immolation Scene from Solti's recording on youtube and was not as impressed as I hoped to be. The sound quality wasn't at its best it seemed, plus the performance was not as powerful and beautiful to me as the Karajan Immolation Scene I heard.

There seems to be a lot of debate about the quality of singers, which makes me think that it may be up to
personal taste. I guess I'll just work out my personal taste after listening to various different cycles. But as a start, will go with the Karajan.

Thank you again for all your help, choosing a first Ring Cycle has been a really tough process. To the birthday list the Karajan Ring goes. :D

  Congratulations on your first Ring "gift". I am sure you will enjoy this Ring cycle and you have made a fine choice. Beautiful orchestral playing, a world class conductor and the BPO make for a very unique Ring indeed.

  I put up a fight, perhaps not a very valiant one to try to steer you towards the Solti Ring. But alas, I was outnumbered, surrounded and ultimately defeated by my fellow Wagerian colleagues!  Kudos to them for their success.

  You mentioned your displeasure with the sound quality of the Solti Ring.  I do not know what you were listening to but the Solti Ring is known for it's rich Technicolor sound! It is known for its sound and production. That is one of its many selling features. Please keep that in mind.

  Spend some time with the Karajan ring. It takes a while to get acquainted with Wagner. Try to get into the characters, the plot the themes.......it is a stunning musical adventure.  In time you will become intimately familiar with it and you will want to branch out and try different interpretations. You'll want a live recording, one from Beyreuth, and you'll also want a DVD recording (the Ring was meant for the stage after all- I have Levine MET DVD which I enjoy tremendously).....it is difficult to tell how your tastes will develop but it will prove to be a wonderful process, that I am sure.  Keep a lookout for the Bohm and Solti Rings in the distant future. Either one is a fine complement to the Karajan Ring.

  Enjoy the adventure.........

  Marvin

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #671 on: January 30, 2012, 12:07:26 PM »
Yes, I agree, and although passionate it wasn't without giving reasons to check and discuss.

And poor me Solti-Ring lover needs support here ;)

  Lol don't worry Sadko, I am sure there will be many more Karajan vs. Solti battles to come  :).

  Marvin

Offline karlhenning

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #672 on: January 30, 2012, 12:16:27 PM »
  Lol don't worry Sadko, I am sure there will be many more Karajan vs. Solti battles to come  :).

If there are no battles, it cannot be about Wagner, can it? ; )
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #673 on: January 30, 2012, 12:38:37 PM »
  Congratulations on your first Ring "gift". I am sure you will enjoy this Ring cycle and you have made a fine choice. Beautiful orchestral playing, a world class conductor and the BPO make for a very unique Ring indeed.

  I put up a fight, perhaps not a very valiant one to try to steer you towards the Solti Ring. But alas, I was outnumbered, surrounded and ultimately defeated by my fellow Wagerian colleagues!  Kudos to them for their success.

  You mentioned your displeasure with the sound quality of the Solti Ring.  I do not know what you were listening to but the Solti Ring is known for it's rich Technicolor sound! It is known for its sound and production. That is one of its many selling features. Please keep that in mind.

  Spend some time with the Karajan ring. It takes a while to get acquainted with Wagner. Try to get into the characters, the plot the themes.......it is a stunning musical adventure.  In time you will become intimately familiar with it and you will want to branch out and try different interpretations. You'll want a live recording, one from Beyreuth, and you'll also want a DVD recording (the Ring was meant for the stage after all- I have Levine MET DVD which I enjoy tremendously).....it is difficult to tell how your tastes will develop but it will prove to be a wonderful process, that I am sure.  Keep a lookout for the Bohm and Solti Rings in the distant future. Either one is a fine complement to the Karajan Ring.

  Enjoy the adventure.........

  Marvin

Thank you, Marvin. Yes, I can imagine myself wanting to own many different Rings! I am really excited about starting the Ring, which I shall do after my birthday this coming March. :) I'll probably end up buying the Bohm straight after going through the Karajan, as it has been one of the most recommended here, including by you. Followed by the Solti. Then maybe the Levine DVD version you mention.

Thank you all again!
"Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy"
— Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #674 on: January 30, 2012, 01:13:30 PM »
If there are no battles, it cannot be about Wagner, can it? ; )

  It most certainly can Karl, Wagner is all about love, peace and tranquility  :P.  Hey the way I see it if you are not passionate about something to drive you to battle it does not matter to you anyway.

  Now watch me start a war over which COMPLETE Haydn string quartet recording is the " best"  ;) I'll bet our esteemed moderator Gurn would be all over that one!   :P

  marvin
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 01:28:16 PM by marvinbrown »

Offline jlaurson

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #675 on: January 30, 2012, 01:27:53 PM »
Then maybe the Levine DVD version you mention.


...asaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrggghh. Help is on the way! Noooooo!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/pPVH9LGBe6A" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/pPVH9LGBe6A</a>

Never mind that the somewhat saccharine "everything-is-glorious; we-shall-never-speed-up" conducting of Levine is glorious in excerpts but hard to take over 14 hours... the Otto Schenk production is so bloody literal with its pseudo-realistic, campy costumes, the Personenregie so lacking, it's really rather a turn-off to anyone expecting the drama on stage to be anywhere near as gripping as that of the music/opera.

Here's a fair, if anything: flattering, collection of excerpts from it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpaFkUpM5yw

Nei... it is the Chéreau production that is made for watching! Das Rheingold is perhaps the most perfect DVD-production of an opera I've yet seen yet... entertaining like a movie.

Here's a much more somber excerpt from Die Walküre; note the subtlety (i.e. real acting) of the singers, having learned their parts over almost five years (by the time they arrived in 1981) from film and theater director Chéreau.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2t7ybyTI_Y&feature=related

and some reading, if/when you're interested:
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-making-of.html
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-das-rheingold.html
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-die-walkre.html
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-gtterdmmerung.html

"Tradition does not mean guarding the ashes, but fanning the embers."
[Tradition is not venerating the ash, but passing on the flame.] (Ben Franklin, G.Mahler)

http://www.weta.org/oldfmblog/?p=95





Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #676 on: January 30, 2012, 01:42:18 PM »
...asaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrggghh. Help is on the way! Noooooo!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/pPVH9LGBe6A" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/pPVH9LGBe6A</a>

Never mind that the somewhat saccharine "everything-is-glorious; we-shall-never-speed-up" conducting of Levine is glorious in excerpts but hard to take over 14 hours... the Otto Schenk production is so bloody literal with its pseudo-realistic, campy costumes, the Personenregie so lacking, it's really rather a turn-off to anyone expecting the drama on stage to be anywhere near as gripping as that of the music/opera.

Here's a fair, if anything: flattering, collection of excerpts from it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpaFkUpM5yw

Nei... it is the Chéreau production that is made for watching! Das Rheingold is perhaps the most perfect DVD-production of an opera I've yet seen yet... entertaining like a movie.

Here's a much more somber excerpt from Die Walküre; note the subtlety (i.e. real acting) of the singers, having learned their parts over almost five years (by the time they arrived in 1981) from film and theater director Chéreau.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2t7ybyTI_Y&feature=related

and some reading, if/when you're interested:
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-making-of.html
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-das-rheingold.html
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-die-walkre.html
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-gtterdmmerung.html

"Tradition does not mean guarding the ashes, but fanning the embers."
[Tradition is not venerating the ash, but passing on the flame.] (Ben Franklin, G.Mahler)

http://www.weta.org/oldfmblog/?p=95



  Here we go again........maybe Karl was right, Wagnerians love a good skirmish.....LOL!

  See here's the problem, until the Seattle opera decides to release its 2 latest Ring Cycles (2005 and 2009 correct my dates if they are wrong) on DVD/bluray I am afraid that we traditionalists have no other option but the MET Levine Ring, which is visually stunning!

  Modern, Eurotrash, esoteric productions don't really interest me. Sigh- what's a traditionalist supposed to do??

  marvin

 
 

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #677 on: January 30, 2012, 02:02:13 PM »
...asaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrggghh. Help is on the way! Noooooo!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/pPVH9LGBe6A" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/pPVH9LGBe6A</a>

Never mind that the somewhat saccharine "everything-is-glorious; we-shall-never-speed-up" conducting of Levine is glorious in excerpts but hard to take over 14 hours... the Otto Schenk production is so bloody literal with its pseudo-realistic, campy costumes, the Personenregie so lacking, it's really rather a turn-off to anyone expecting the drama on stage to be anywhere near as gripping as that of the music/opera.

Here's a fair, if anything: flattering, collection of excerpts from it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpaFkUpM5yw

Nei... it is the Chéreau production that is made for watching! Das Rheingold is perhaps the most perfect DVD-production of an opera I've yet seen yet... entertaining like a movie.

Here's a much more somber excerpt from Die Walküre; note the subtlety (i.e. real acting) of the singers, having learned their parts over almost five years (by the time they arrived in 1981) from film and theater director Chéreau.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2t7ybyTI_Y&feature=related

and some reading, if/when you're interested:
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-making-of.html
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-das-rheingold.html
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-die-walkre.html
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-gtterdmmerung.html

"Tradition does not mean guarding the ashes, but fanning the embers."
[Tradition is not venerating the ash, but passing on the flame.] (Ben Franklin, G.Mahler)

http://www.weta.org/oldfmblog/?p=95

haha :D Thank you for these, Jens. Very interesting reads!
"Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy"
— Ludwig van Beethoven

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #678 on: January 30, 2012, 04:27:43 PM »
  the Otto Schenk production is so bloody literal with its pseudo-realistic, campy costumes

Have you seen the pics from the original productions?
 

Offline rw1883

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #679 on: January 30, 2012, 10:32:16 PM »
Marvin, seriously, dude, you need to get your ears adjusted  ;) Janowitz, Vickers, Stewart, Talvela, Veasey, all young, in their prime..lacking in vocal oomph??? No, no...absolutely wrong. Vickers is the most passionate Siegmund on record (you really prefer King?); Janowitz the most sheerly beautiful vocally. She's just breathtaking. Is it any wonder Siegmund commits incest?  ;D

"Jon Vickers's performance as Siegmund is superb....He begins the "Spring Song" truly poetically, and as he is in splendid voice the heroic moments are most exciting....One realizes how much James King—though I liked him more than some critics— missed in the part."--Gramophone

"Josephine Veasey's Fricka has been justly admired at Covent Garden. Christa Ludwig was very good indeed in the part but it is true that her upper range has now become soprano-like and this makes Veasey's true mezzo-soprano better suited to the enraged utterances of the goddess. This is a finely sung and distinguished performance." --Gramophone

"Martti Talvela is a magnificent Hunding, as menacing as Frick and with as black a voice, but with the tonal power the latter cannot now so easily command.  --Gramophone

"Thomas Stewart has a magnificent voice of ample power and range...There is nothing "gritty" in his Wotan and his enunciation and phrasing are excellent. I should not be surprised to learn that he had studied the part with Hotter." --Gramophone

Solti recorded Walküre last and half his cast was ready for the geriatric ward  ;D Sure, Nilsson is impressive, if steely, but she gives little hint of vulnerability or femininity. That's not a defect in the Second Act but it is by the end of the Third (and on into Siegfried and Götterdämmerung where she's no longer a goddess, but a woman). But if you must have her Brünnhilde, she's even better for Böhm.

Edit: To be fair I have to mention that, despite those positive quotes, AR at Gramophone still picked Solti's Walküre as a first choice on account of Nilsson.


Sarge

I'm joining this conversation late, but if I may say a few things:

I love chunks of the Solti (especially Acts 2 & 3 of Gotterdammerung), but as a whole, the Furtwangler ('50 and '53), Karajan, Krauss, and Barenboim are my top picks.

Not that any of the previous pro-Karajan posts need backing-up, but here's another hat in the ring: the Karajan is awesome! Thomas Stewart is one of my favorite Wotans and with Karajan's multi-faceted conducting (very underrated on the power scale), I go back to this cycle often. As an incomplete cycle (there's a rumor that EMI has the whole cycle in their vault–why wouldn't they release this???), the '51 Bayreuth/Karajan is phenomenal! His conducting of Walkure Act 3 with Sigurd Bjorling and Varnay is inspiring.  I have a feeling this would be my all-time favorite Ring if complete (Rheingold and Siegfried on Myto are in pretty decent sound).

Such hard choices!!  Just reading this thread has moved some Rings in my immediate listening pile.

I hate to admit this, but I have 22 complete Ring Cycles (including the ones with the traditional cuts)–what a disease! Unfortunately, I've been lazy the last 5 years and haven't collected any recent cycles...which is probably a good thing...

Sarge, is the Thielemann worth it?

Paul

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