Author Topic: Wagner's Valhalla  (Read 459808 times)

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Offline Anne

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #80 on: June 06, 2007, 01:02:54 PM »
You're welcome, Yasser.

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #81 on: July 25, 2007, 01:11:09 PM »
I discovered Tristan also when I was the same age as Don Giovanni, and felt the same way about it. I still do!

Tristan's Prelude & Liebestod, a textbook example of building unresolved tension into a mindblowing release, holds a very special place, considered as one of the greatest moments in all music to me.

You'll come to know and recognize the "Tristan chord", and recognize that famous first statement of a sixth and two half-steps, they can be spotted making appearances in later' composers works.

In just a couple of weeks in Houston, I'll be going to an all-Wagner concert and I'm so excited! They just posted the program and I'm most looking forward to hearing several selections from Lohengrin, and especially Die Meistersinger, both of which I have never heard live. No Tristan this time though. ;) But the Der Fliegende Hollander overture more than makes up for it!

Heres the line-up for my September Wagner concert!

NZSO

Friday 7 September 6.30pm WELLINGTON Town Hall Ticketek 
 
PROGRAMME
Die Meistersinger Prelude
Lohengrin Prelude (Act 1)
Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod
The Flying Dutchman Overture
Tannhaüser Overture
Gotterdammerung: Immolation Scene


FEATURED ARTISTS
Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Margaret Medlyn Soprano

 :)

 

 
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #82 on: July 25, 2007, 01:26:50 PM »
It would also be quite interesting to hear Wagner's arrangement of Beethoven's Ninth for larger orchestra. I can't find a recording of it. Does anyone know of one?

I have a recording of Wagners piano & choral arrangement of Beethovens 9th ???
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #83 on: July 25, 2007, 01:32:46 PM »
At this stage a fave 'moment' is Donners horn call when summoning the thunder in scene.4. of Das Reingold.
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #84 on: July 25, 2007, 01:45:28 PM »
I'm having an intense Wagner week as I dive into the complete Ring cycle for the first time.

So I'm listening to this;



and this



and this



while reading this



and watching this!



I've also recently read this;



and



and the two P.Frank Russell graphic novel adaptations :)
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

m_gigena

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #85 on: July 25, 2007, 04:55:09 PM »
I'm having an intense Wagner week as I dive into the complete Ring cycle for the first time.



Me too. Tomorrow I'll listen to the last act of Gotterdammerung and I will have finally listened to the whole Ring, for the first time.
I got the only Ring I have last year (From the Bayreuth Festival in 1952, conducted by Joseph Keilberth), and played some parts as background music while studying then. My objective for the current winter holydays was to listen to the whole ring in detail, with the libretto and translations in hand, and I'm very happy because I'm about to complete it.

I like this Keilberth cycle very, very much, and I don't feel like listening to other sets now. After some google searches I found out that many people list Keilberth's '52 as one of the finest sets available.
I'm getting the famous Solti set, Furtwangler's from 1950 at La Scala, and Keilberth's 1953 at Bayreuth (as I said, I don't feel like trying other sets right now, but I may intend that in the future, and I want to be prepared then).

Do you have any suggestions for more Ring cycles? (or valid reasons for me to abort any of the listed current downloads; aside copyright infringement considerations)

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #86 on: July 25, 2007, 05:01:57 PM »
I'm having an intense Wagner week as I dive into the complete Ring cycle for the first time.

So I'm listening to this;

and this




Yuck, no self-respecting Wagnerian will listen to that garbage. It is an insult to Wagner dumb down to appeal to the lowest denominator.

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #87 on: July 25, 2007, 05:04:27 PM »
Yuck, no self-respecting Wagnerian will listen to that garbage. It is an insult to Wagner dumb down to appeal to the lowest denominator.

Fair enough.

Personally I found it to be an excellent entry point to such a massive work. Especially as I had an issue with opera singing prior to that. Its lead me to the main operas and provided 'signposts' as I listen.

 :)
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline grandma

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #88 on: July 25, 2007, 05:31:31 PM »
""


SW,

When a friend helped me begin to appreciate The Ring, first he had me listen to Maazel's Ring Without Words; then he had me buy a Ring Highlights CD.  There are many.  I chose the one conducted by Solti.

Wagner uses voices in his operas as other instruments in an orchestra.  The singers do not sing melodies (for the most part - there are exceptions) as we've come to expect in other composers' operas.  One of the easiest ways to understand what I am trying to say, is to listen to the music without the singers (The Ring Without Words CD).  Then listen to the same music with singers.  (You'll need to purchase the highlight CD.)

By listening to the CD's in this order, you will understand how Wagner uses voices in his music.  First, you will have heard the music without voices, then with voices.

My experience was that I came to enjoy the music without the voices and didn't see any necessity to add the singers.  But once I listened to the singer version, I was amazed how much the voices added to the listening experience, and didn't want to go back to the "incomplete" Ring Without Words.  Hope this helps.

Wagner is worth every effort you have to make to learn his music.  If you have trouble, let us know.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 05:50:34 PM by grandma »

Offline grandma

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #89 on: July 25, 2007, 05:43:24 PM »
Me too. Tomorrow I'll listen to the last act of Gotterdammerung and I will have finally listened to the whole Ring, for the first time.
I got the only Ring I have last year (From the Bayreuth Festival in 1952, conducted by Joseph Keilberth), and played some parts as background music while studying then. My objective for the current winter holydays was to listen to the whole ring in detail, with the libretto and translations in hand, and I'm very happy because I'm about to complete it.

I like this Keilberth cycle very, very much, and I don't feel like listening to other sets now. After some google searches I found out that many people list Keilberth's '52 as one of the finest sets available.
I'm getting the famous Solti set, Furtwangler's from 1950 at La Scala, and Keilberth's 1953 at Bayreuth (as I said, I don't feel like trying other sets right now, but I may intend that in the future, and I want to be prepared then).

Do you have any suggestions for more Ring cycles? (or valid reasons for me to abort any of the listed current downloads; aside copyright infringement considerations)

Go to the Canadian amazon web site.  If it is still available, you will find James Levine's Ring for about $40.  It is cheap these days in Canada in honor of the first Canadian Ring being performed this year in Canada.  At Amazon US and amazon UK the price is higher.  There is no libretto with this.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 05:53:43 PM by grandma »

Offline PSmith08

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #90 on: July 25, 2007, 06:46:59 PM »
While I'm not sure that the orchestral versions of stuff Wagner didn't intend to be purely orchestral bothers me, as his idea of Gesamtkunstwerk intended for you to get, in David Bowie's words, the gift of sound and vision. If we're fudging with recordings, then it's really just a matter of degrees off beam.

That having been said, despite some fabulous recordings of Der Ring (such as Janowski, Barenboim, Böhm, and Boulez - all depending on how conservative or liberal a Wagnerian you are), the best recording for a first experience is Georg Solti's set. Hands down. Keilberth's 1955 Bayreuth set on Testament (though recorded by Decca) is a close runner-up. The also-rans all have some issues - ranging from minor to pretty serious - that make them less-than-ideal for a first experience.

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #91 on: July 26, 2007, 02:05:28 AM »
I'm having an intense Wagner week as I dive into the complete Ring cycle for the first time.

So I'm listening to this;



and this



and this



while reading this



and watching this!



I've also recently read this;



and



and the two P.Frank Russell graphic novel adaptations :)

  WOW....and here I was thinking I was obsessed with Wagner  :).  I will second PSmith08 recommendation of the Solti Ring.  I have the Solti Ring and it is truly remarkable (so powerfull).  Glad to hear that you are getting involved so intimately with the Ring Solitary Wanderer.  Its a psychological thriller with a remarkable symphonic score.  Getting into the story, plot characters is the best way to appreciate this masterpiece.  It took Wagner over 20 years to compose- astonishing!!!!

  PS: make sure you also check out Die Meistersingers, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal- they are all treasure troves of drama, beautiful music and visual delights.
 
  marvin

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #92 on: July 26, 2007, 05:28:43 AM »
""


SW,

When a friend helped me begin to appreciate The Ring, first he had me listen to Maazel's Ring Without Words; then he had me buy a Ring Highlights CD.  There are many.  I chose the one conducted by Solti.

Wagner uses voices in his operas as other instruments in an orchestra.  The singers do not sing melodies (for the most part - there are exceptions) as we've come to expect in other composers' operas.  One of the easiest ways to understand what I am trying to say, is to listen to the music without the singers (The Ring Without Words CD).  Then listen to the same music with singers.  (You'll need to purchase the highlight CD.)

By listening to the CD's in this order, you will understand how Wagner uses voices in his music.  First, you will have heard the music without voices, then with voices.

My experience was that I came to enjoy the music without the voices and didn't see any necessity to add the singers.  But once I listened to the singer version, I was amazed how much the voices added to the listening experience, and didn't want to go back to the "incomplete" Ring Without Words.  Hope this helps.

Wagner is worth every effort you have to make to learn his music.  If you have trouble, let us know.


  Reflecting back on my very first encounters with Wagner and the Ring Cycle.....I never went through the various stages to listening to the Ring without words (I did not even know this existed) , and reading books etc.  My style was more Kamakazi- sink or swim- now in hindsight (thats always 20/20) I wish I had taken the time and done it in stages.  If I can offer some advice- a few things to pay attention to:

  1) Know the characters
  2) Have a good grasp of the plot and interaction between characters
  3) Pay attention to how the music associates itself with each character or object (leitmotif)
  4) Pay attention to how the music associates itself with the occuring and recuring events or actions (again leitmotif)
  5) Use 1)-4) above to experience the DRAMATIC effect- I like to turn the lights down low, get some popcorn and watch the Levine Ring on my large screen TV  ;D !!!  Hey- wasn't that Wagner's intention all along!!!

  Best of luck Solitary Wanderer and keep us posted as to how you get on- Enjoy!

  marvin
 
 

m_gigena

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #93 on: July 26, 2007, 06:29:17 AM »
What about this one?


Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #94 on: July 26, 2007, 08:10:35 AM »
What about this one?




  You mean this one Manuel ? :




  Though I am not familiar with this Introduction Recording, I can tell you that the covers are identical to the COMPLETE Solti Ring Cycle that I own.  But aren't you better off investing in the COMPLETE Solti recording as opposed to an Introduction?  The Solti Ring Cycle from which this Introduction recording is taken is OUTSTANDING!!!  Perhaps somebody else on this forum can comment on this particular Introduction recording?

  marvin

m_gigena

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #95 on: July 26, 2007, 08:17:09 AM »

  You mean this one Manuel ? :




Yes. That one.

What I could get from the Amazon samples is that this set is not about loosen excerpts, but motifs are exposed and explained (as in the BBC Discovering music files).

Offline grandma

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #96 on: July 26, 2007, 09:02:05 AM »
Yes. That one.

What I could get from the Amazon samples is that this set is not about loosen excerpts, but motifs are exposed and explained (as in the BBC Discovering music files).


  1)  The Deryk Cooke recording was made to help people find the motifs in Wagner's Ring.  I didn't use it though I have it.  With the help of several books and Solti's Das Rheingold and multiple listenings, I finally found the 22+ motifs of Das Rheinegold (I figured if I started at the beginning Wagner couldn't get too complicated yet).  It is worth the effort to know them as it makes the music more interesting.

It would be nice if some of the experts around here would listen to Solti's Ring and give everyone the timings for the motifs on the Cd's.

  2)  There is also a disc that plays on one's computer (in mono) that displays the music (Solti's version), shows the motifs as one listens to them.  There may be more features that I have forgotten.  Does anyone know the title?  I am not home and can't remember it at the moment.  When it first came out, it cost $100.  It may be out of print now.  Can anyone else give the title?

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #97 on: July 26, 2007, 09:59:01 AM »

  2)  There is also a disc that plays on one's computer (in mono) that displays the music (Solti's version), shows the motifs as one listens to them.  There may be more features that I have forgotten.  Does anyone know the title?  I am not home and can't remember it at the moment.  When it first came out, it cost $100.  It may be out of print now.  Can anyone else give the title?

The Ring Disc: An Interactive Guide to Wagners Ring Cycle

Amazon.com lists one new copy available for $75.00 from one of their sellers:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000001A3A/ref=dp_olp_2/102-5423591-3069720

I don't have it.  My first Ring recording was Furtwängler's RAI cycle on LPs, which came with a single-LP intro to the cycle identifying the motifs and playing excerpts from the recording.  I probably listened to it once, but mostly used Ernest Newman's book on the Wagner operas, which (for the post-Rienzi operas), is a great intro to the works, with info on the sources and compostion each work, followed by a synopsis with musical examples of the leitmotifs:

http://www.amazon.com/Wagner-Operas-Ernest-Newman/dp/0691027161/ref=sr_1_1/102-5423591-3069720?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1185476047&sr=1-1
« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 10:00:38 AM by Wendell_E »
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #98 on: July 26, 2007, 10:23:42 AM »
If this has already come up, I apologize, but by any chance does anyone know of an online source for Wagner's leitmotifs?  (E.g., similar to this great reference for Berg, Schoenberg and Webern's tone rows on Themefinder.)

Edit: just found this one which is pretty good.  But open to other suggestions, too.

--Bruce
« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 10:27:15 AM by bhodges »
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Offline PSmith08

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #99 on: July 26, 2007, 10:33:31 AM »
If this has already come up, I apologize, but by any chance does anyone know of an online source for Wagner's leitmotifs?  (E.g., similar to this great reference for Berg, Schoenberg and Webern's tone rows on Themefinder.)

Edit: just found this one which is pretty good.  But open to other suggestions, too.

--Bruce

This site has a nice introduction to the major Leitmotiven, but it is by no means complete. The rwagner.net site is more complete, but has distracting MIDI samples with no explanation.

It is clearly not what you asked for, but the libretti for Daniel Barenboim's Bayreuth Ring have the texts and then the Leitmotiven in the margins. The recording, too, is very good - orchestrally, vocally, and sonics-wise. It is idiosyncratic at points, but is a solid second choice.