Author Topic: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...  (Read 68895 times)

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eyeresist

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #680 on: January 30, 2012, 11:48:57 PM »
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?

I haven't had a drink in 10 years! By the way, does that whisky taste as pretty as it looks?

Famous last words! :D

Offline jlaurson

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #681 on: January 31, 2012, 02:01:19 AM »


Sarge, is the Thielemann worth it?

Paul

I know I am hoping, with a decent amount of certainty, that there shall be another Thielemann Ring in the next 10 years... (perhaps from Dresden) and then one with a cast worthy of that conducting. As it stands, it's one of the best-conducted Rings (only Boehm and Krauss -- in their different ways -- come close), but the singing (which isn't even my priority) is distressingly mediocre and drags the hole venture down. It made for a lovely car trip from DC and back, on radio copies (ah, memories! en-route to the awful "First Emperor" at the MET), but I never minded the engine's leveling out the uneven singing.  I've got a few Ring Cycles myself--not 22 but north of a dozen--and if someone sent me the Thielemann, I'd put it on the shelves, but I've not yet actively added it to the staple. But what am I writing. You've already purchased it, huh?  ;)


Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #682 on: January 31, 2012, 03:00:22 AM »
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


  WITHOUT PREJUDICE
  I DON'T BELIEVE THIS!!!  Most Wagnerians on this forum prefer the Karajan Ring to the Solti Ring?? All I can remember is being totally dissatisfied with Karajan's Die Walkure (the voices failed to make a positive impression on me, I found it docile, I kept turning up the volume hoping that louder sound would compensate for lack of power and hence drama- forget it! It did not work). Relative to Bohm and Solti Karajan's Die Walkure is a "snooze fest".  Karajan's Siegfried and Gotterdammering were major improvements but Solti's  buries him 6 feet under!

  Karajan's Ring is pretty, yes, the orchestral playing is beautiful, but the "energy level",  and consequently the dramatic effect is at times seriously compromised by a relatively weak cast and Karajan's attempt to find the "hidden nuances" in the score. The energy level drops off almost unexpectedly at times, I find it very irritating. Wagner is all about the drama and I firmly believe that Karajan missed the boat on that one! That's why it's been dubbed the "Chamber Ring",  intimate, pretty, etc.etc call it what you want........I am sorry but a docile "chamber" effect is NOT what Wagner had in mind!

  Often I read that Karajan's Siegfired is the weak link in his cycle.  I beg to differ, in my opinion Karajan's Die Walkure is the most seriously flawed in the context of the paragraph above.

  I stand by my original recommendation: of the 3 Rings madaboutmahler was considering Solti, Karajan and Barenboim. Solti is by far the most recommendable. Although The Bohm Ring, which is one of my favorite Rings, if not my favorite should be the 1st one he buys!  It can be had for £25 on amazon.co.uk.  A steal! (He'll have to buy the libretto separately)

  There you have it, a passionate plea from a Solti supporting Wagnerian who is finding himself more and more isolated in a Karajan obsessed Wagnerian world!

  marvin


 
   

   
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 03:30:52 AM by marvinbrown »

Offline jlaurson

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #683 on: January 31, 2012, 03:43:53 AM »

  WITHOUT PREJUDICE
  I DON'T BELIEVE THIS!!! 
A Solti supporting Wagnerian who is finding himself more and more isolated in a Karajan obsessed Wagnerian world!


Dear ASSWWIFHMAMIIAKOWW,

I don't think you're as isolated as you make it seem.
No one, or very few, have suggested that Solti's Ring isn't very good.
Nor are those who nudged toward Karajan, including myself, "Karajan-obsessed".
Myself, I sort of just came toward the idea of how nice it would be to have had Karajan as a first Ring Cycle... and, following Sarge (or pre-empting him; I sometimes don't know the difference, since we were obviously separated at birth but remain connected through a selective musical umbilical cord across a decade or two), really warmed to the idea. Aside, starting with Karajan (followed by Boehm and Boulez/Chereau  ;)) merely means postponing the Solti experience for a while. Maybe a decade. That's nothing, in Wagnerian terms.


Re: rw1883: If EMI really had a '51 Ring with HvK in the vault and is not releasing it, it would presumably be because someone involved (and by now probably their estate) has prohibited them from doing so. But rather a big "if"!

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #684 on: January 31, 2012, 03:53:50 AM »
Dear ASSWWIFHMAMIIAKOWW,

I don't think you're as isolated as you make it seem.
No one, or very few, have suggested that Solti's Ring isn't very good.
Nor are those who nudged toward Karajan, including myself, "Karajan-obsessed".
Myself, I sort of just came toward the idea of how nice it would be to have had Karajan as a first Ring Cycle... and, following Sarge (or pre-empting him; I sometimes don't know the difference, since we were obviously separated at birth but remain connected through a selective musical umbilical cord across a decade or two), really warmed to the idea. Aside, starting with Karajan (followed by Boehm and Boulez/Chereau  ;)) merely means postponing the Solti experience for a while. Maybe a decade. That's nothing, in Wagnerian terms.


Re: rw1883: If EMI really had a '51 Ring with HvK in the vault and is not releasing it, it would presumably be because someone involved (and by now probably their estate) has prohibited them from doing so. But rather a big "if"!

  I read your post with a smile on my face.  Suddenly I feel like I belong  :'(.  It's nice to know that I am back in the wagnerian crowd!

  But seriously, I hope that madaboutmahler will benefit from all our discussions/pleas/disagreements etc.  The bottom line is that 1 Ring simply will not do as this collosal masterpeice can be interpreted in so many ways- orchestra, sound, conducting, cast, live performace vs. studio production etc. etc. There are so many variables to warrant multiple recordings. 

    marvin

Online trung224

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #685 on: January 31, 2012, 04:30:03 AM »

  WITHOUT PREJUDICE
  I DON'T BELIEVE THIS!!!  Most Wagnerians on this forum prefer the Karajan Ring to the Solti Ring?? All I can remember is being totally dissatisfied with Karajan's Die Walkure (the voices failed to make a positive impression on me, I found it docile, I kept turning up the volume hoping that louder sound would compensate for lack of power and hence drama- forget it! It did not work). Relative to Bohm and Solti Karajan's Die Walkure is a "snooze fest".  Karajan's Siegfried and Gotterdammering were major improvements but Solti's  buries him 6 feet under!

  Karajan's Ring is pretty, yes, the orchestral playing is beautiful, but the "energy level",  and consequently the dramatic effect is at times seriously compromised by a relatively weak cast and Karajan's attempt to find the "hidden nuances" in the score. The energy level drops off almost unexpectedly at times, I find it very irritating. Wagner is all about the drama and I firmly believe that Karajan missed the boat on that one! That's why it's been dubbed the "Chamber Ring",  intimate, pretty, etc.etc call it what you want........I am sorry but a docile "chamber" effect is NOT what Wagner had in mind!

  Often I read that Karajan's Siegfired is the weak link in his cycle.  I beg to differ, in my opinion Karajan's Die Walkure is the most seriously flawed in the context of the paragraph above.

  I stand by my original recommendation: of the 3 Rings madaboutmahler was considering Solti, Karajan and Barenboim. Solti is by far the most recommendable. Although The Bohm Ring, which is one of my favorite Rings, if not my favorite should be the 1st one he buys!  It can be had for £25 on amazon.co.uk.  A steal! (He'll have to buy the libretto separately)

  There you have it, a passionate plea from a Solti supporting Wagnerian who is finding himself more and more isolated in a Karajan obsessed Wagnerian world!

  marvin


   
   

   

    While i agree with you about Karajan'Siegfried, I don't think that Wagner's music, especially Die Walküre , is only power, drama or loud. Die Walküre has the love of Siegmund and Sieglinde, and I think Karajan' interpretation is better than Solti to convey. Moreover, Wagner love Bel Canto, and as I read he wanted the Italien singer sings his opera. Indeed, no Italien singers venture lost their voice but with this evidence, I think the Karajan's way is at least the valid way, the way Wagner sometimes thought

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #686 on: January 31, 2012, 04:50:09 AM »
    While i agree with you about Karajan'Siegfried, I don't think that Wagner's music, especially Die Walküre , is only power, drama or loud. Die Walküre has the love of Siegmund and Sieglinde, and I think Karajan' interpretation is better than Solti to convey. Moreover, Wagner love Bel Canto, and as I read he wanted the Italien singer sings his opera. Indeed, no Italien singers venture lost their voice but with this evidence, I think the Karajan's way is at least the valid way, the way Wagner sometimes thought

  It is true that Wagner was a fan of Bel Canto.  But he was also a fan of Berlioz and Beethoven 9th Symphony the Choral and revolutionizing opera as it was in his time.  I doubt that a pretty voice, bel canto and pretty playing (IE the Karajan Ring) were as important to Wagner as the overall dramatic effect- I believe that he would have been for any and all attempts to enhance the drama of his "operas"- he called them MUSIC DRAMAS after all- than anything else.


  I could be wrong.......
  marvin

Offline karlhenning

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #687 on: January 31, 2012, 04:51:17 AM »
I haven't had a drink in 10 years!

You can't really be in Sidney! (j/k)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #688 on: January 31, 2012, 04:59:52 AM »
I DON'T BELIEVE THIS!!!  Most Wagnerians on this forum prefer the Karajan Ring to the Solti Ring??

Only in this thread, Marvin  :D  Elsewhere Solti and Keilberth still rule  ;)  Just re-read the various Wagner threads in the Opera section to get an idea how little Karajan is loved here...or rather, was loved. If this thread is an indication, new blood seems to be changing things.

There you have it, a passionate plea from a Solti supporting Wagnerian who is finding himself more and more isolated in a Karajan obsessed Wagnerian world!

Now you know how I've felt for 25 years, utterly alone, going door-to-door, proselytizing for Karajan, but finding no disciples. This thread actually shocks me. I thought Solti would be the overwhelming choice. It's nice to see the Solti/Culshaw death grip on Wagnerites easing somewhat  8)  I suspect, though, that Solti has outsold Karajan by a factor of 10 to 1.

Sarge
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."
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #689 on: January 31, 2012, 05:03:15 AM »
Only in this thread, Marvin  :D  Elsewhere Solti and Keilberth still rule  ;)  Just re-read the various Wagner threads in the Opera section to get an idea how little Karajan is loved here...or rather, was loved. If this thread is an indication, new blood seems to be changing things.

Now you know how I've felt for 25 years, utterly alone, going door-to-door, proselytizing for Karajan, but finding no disciples. This thread actually shocks me. I thought Solti would be the overwhelming choice. It's nice to see the Solti/Culshaw death grip on Wagnerites easing somewhat  8)  I suspect, though, that Solti has outsold Karajan by a factor of 10 to 1.

Sarge
Solti Ring sales rank on Amazon is 11,471, while Karajan (which came out just a year after in its current guise) is 134,880.
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 karlhenning

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #690 on: January 31, 2012, 05:06:05 AM »
. . . I doubt that a pretty voice, bel canto and pretty playing (IE the Karajan Ring) were as important to Wagner as the overall dramatic effect . . . .

To speak just generally (i.e., I cannot have an opinion on Solti VS. HvK) -- I do not see [ a pretty voice, bel canto and pretty playing ] as in any opposition to [ the overall dramatic effect ]
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #691 on: January 31, 2012, 05:13:38 AM »
  It is true that Wagner was a fan of Bel Canto.  But he was also a fan of Berlioz and Beethoven 9th Symphony the Choral and revolutionizing opera as it was in his time.  I doubt that a pretty voice, bel canto and pretty playing (IE the Karajan Ring) were as important to Wagner as the overall dramatic effect- I believe that he would have been for any and all attempts to enhance the drama of his "operas"- he called them MUSIC DRAMAS after all- than anything else.


  I could be wrong.......
  marvin

It's not that I disagree with you about Wagner's intentions. The disagreement stems from your assertion that Karajan lacks power and drama. Really, I don't get it, Marvin. It's like we're listening to two different performances. In Karajan I do not hear any lessening of the drama. If anything, the fact that Karajan emphasizes the lyrical beauty of the score too makes the dramatic outbursts that much more powerful in comparison. I do not hear a lack of power when the score calls for it. True, Karajan doesn't have a gimmicky, technicolor Culshaw-style production to enhance the drama. It's relies strictly on what Karajan, the Berliners and Wagner can do. I don't think Wagner needs sonic gimmicks...but I admit, they are fun  :D

Sarge
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 Sergeant Rock

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #692 on: January 31, 2012, 05:18:19 AM »
Solti Ring sales rank on Amazon is 11,471, while Karajan (which came out just a year after in its current guise) is 134,880.

Interesting....but not surprising.

Sarge
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"

DavidW

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #693 on: January 31, 2012, 06:00:57 AM »
It seems that every few months one of the gmgers decides that it's time to take a Wagnerian sojourn and start eyeballing huge, expensive box sets.  Is this the gmg equivalent of a mid-life crisis? ;D

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #694 on: January 31, 2012, 06:06:07 AM »
Sarge, is the Thielemann worth it?
Paul

Tough question. It was worth it to me because I really wanted to hear what Thielemann does with the Ring (not so different from Karajan, actually) and unlike Jens, I can't afford to wait ten years for a better cast  ;) This is probably the best Bayreuth Ring in terms of sound and orchestral execution. It might be worth it to you just for that.

Sarge
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 06:10:31 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 Sergeant Rock

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #695 on: January 31, 2012, 06:07:01 AM »
It seems that every few months one of the gmgers decides that it's time to take a Wagnerian sojourn and start eyeballing huge, expensive box sets.  Is this the gmg equivalent of a mid-life crisis? ;D

MAD is 14 ...if it's a mid-life crisis, he's aging seriously fast  :D

Sarge
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"

DavidW

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #696 on: January 31, 2012, 06:09:46 AM »
MAD is 14 ...if it's a mid-life crisis, he's aging seriously fast  :D

Sarge

haha oops! :D  Well I watched most of Wagner's operas when I was in high school (from checking out tapes from the library), so it's all good. :)

Offline Opus106

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #697 on: January 31, 2012, 06:37:32 AM »
Well I watched most of Wagner's operas when I was in high school (from checking out tapes from the library), so it's all good. :)

W-rated material at such an age?! Tsk, tsk....
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #698 on: January 31, 2012, 07:35:44 AM »
You guys should be in Bayreuth circa 1876.

Well, it would have certainly been much easier to get the tickets for the Bayreuther Festspiele in 1876......
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Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner One Ring to rule them all...
« Reply #699 on: January 31, 2012, 08:04:17 AM »


  OK Sarge, I promise you that I will give the Karajan Ring more of a chance. I'll start with Die Walkure as this is where my "problem" started!

  We have highjacked this thread long enough now......but we had good reason we have a young man madaboutmahler requesting his first ring cycle as a birthday gift. This thread is called Recordings you are considering, madaboutmahler posted 3 recordings he was considering. It is our duty as Wagnerians to guide/confuse  ;D etc. this young man!


  Karl, Bel Canto is predominantly about the voice, the beauty of singing etc. and listening to the voice, this can be dramatic but I find heavier domineering voices to be more effective at conveying the drama.  Daniel Barenboim once said that those who can sing beautifully, as they do an Italian aria completely miss the musical expression in Wagner's music and then he went on to say that those who bark the words, referring to the Wagnerian bark also miss the point.  So singing Wagner is not that cut and dry!

  Oh and Karl, Please PLEASE tell me that you finally got around to listening to the Bohm Ring (you know the one in your Beyreuth box!) in its entirety!  (how long has it been now since you started?? are you anywhere near finished?). 

  marvin

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