Best recording of each Ring cycle opera

Started by ganchan2019, July 29, 2022, 06:25:42 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


No recorded Ring Cycle does everything equally well, as might be expected from such a titanic work. Different Ring recordings, both studio and live, do some of the operas better than others. With that in mind, my question is: If you were forced to select each installment in the Ring from a different cycle (or standalone recording), what cobbled-together result would you end up with?

Just to get the ball rolling, I think I would choose:
Rheingold - Solti
Walkure - Leinsdorf studio
Siegfried - Goodall
Gotterdammerung - Keilberth 1955


Several years Record review on BBC Radio 3 did a similar exercise; they asked four critics to chose the best recording of each part of the Ring cycle, each critic was allocated one part. If I remember correctly the outcome was -

Rheingold - Keilberth 1955
Walkure - Karajan
Siegfried - Keilberth 1955
Gotterdammerung - Solti

The Keilberth cycle had been recently released and caused much excitement but interestingly, the critics who chose Solti and Karajan didn't rate Keilberth very much when reviewing their particular instalment.

I have the complete cycles from Keilberth 1955, Karajan and Solti (and plenty of others). My favourite cycle is Kempe's 1961 Bayreuth - a magnificent performance even though it is only mono.

Sticking to the rules of the posting -

Rheingold - Karajan (his DVD, definitely not his CD)
Walkure - Leinsorf
Siegfried - Solti
Gotterdammerung - Kempe Bayreuth 1961


I've listened to many recordings of Wagner's Ring, but I have never had the chance to listen to the Keilberth.

It's not easy to choose one different cycle for every opera of the Ring, anyway mine could be:

Das Rheingold - Karajan
Die Walküre - Böhm Bayreuth 1967
Siegfried - Barenboim Bayreuth 1991
Götterdämmerung - Solti
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Gustav Mahler


Rheingold - Solti (2022 remastering is amazing, recommended)
Walkure - Krauss 1953 (Keilberth 1955 with Varnay comes close)
Walkure Act I - Walter
Walkure Act III - Karajan 1951
Siegfried - Bodanzky (no other comes close, maybe except for 1951 Karajan but it has dreadful audio quality)
Gotterdammerung - Knappertsbusch 1951 (Solti for stereo)