Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25

Thread: Wagner at the Met box set

  1. #1
    Senior Member Notung's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    204
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Wagner at the Met box set

    Are the performances among the best, like they say? Are the cuts in some of them severe?

    Really tempted to get it, seeing the incredible singers, but I'm still not sure.
    Last edited by Notung; Aug-14-2013 at 02:59.
    "Blessed be your suffering"-Wagner, Parsifal

  2. #2
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    10,481
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    After reading the reviews I would say the cuts are severe.
    If you'd like to hear these singers though you may enjoy it.
    Cuts drive me crazy, so I will pass on it.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    375
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I have known these performances for many years and I will describe them all.
    First the sound in all cases is improved, but bear in mind these are radio broadcasts from 1936 to 1954
    HOLLANDER. 1950 Hotter Varnay Reiner. This is just one of the very best performances of this opera ever. No cuts
    TANNHAUSER 1954 Vinay Harshaw Varnay London Szell. Great performance great singing no cuts.
    LOHENGRIN 1943 Melchior( still in top form) Varnay Sved(one of the biggest baritone voices) no cuts of any significance .Great.
    TRISTAN 1938 Flagstad Melchior List Huehn Bodansky standard MET cuts especially act 2. Good sound.
    MEISTERSINGER 1953 terrific cast Reiner but very bad cuts in act 3 great sound. Great for the cast.
    RHEINGOLD 1951 Stiedry Hotter Svanholm excellent performance uncut.
    WALKURE 1940 Flagstad BR. Lawrence Si. Melchior Huehn Leinsdorf tremendous performance with Lawrence as Sieglinde and Flagstad as Brunnhilde. Julius Huehn was a great Wotan . Would that we had his like today. Melchior incomparable. Sound good.
    SIEGFRIED 1937 the only broadcast with Melchior as Siegfried and the great Schorr as the Wanderer - Flagstad sublime some cuts.
    Götterdämmerung 1936 Melchior and Lawrence as Brunnhilde. This issue is better than the Naxos CDs that were issued a few years ago.
    I doubt If anyone would want this as an introduction to Wagner, but as a supplement to increase understanding of the music under great conductors of the old 19th century tradition and to hear the singers who were undoubtably the best of all time in Wagner in very good sound, this issue is an absolute gift at the price. Amazon list it at £38 for 25 discs.
    Don't let the cuts put you off, it is interesting to understand how Wagner was performed in those days,especially in the USA.
    Mostly it was to do with length of performance. The Met used to insert an interval halfway through Rheingold!
    In the case of Meistersinger, the ending was always cut (WW2 et al.)
    and it had to wait until 1979 to be performed as it should be.
    I recommend this box set highly.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Hollywood U.S.A.
    Posts
    5,883
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I just got this set. It's on sale through a third party dealer at Amazon for $40. The singing in this is to die for. The problem with stuff like this is once you hear singers like this, you'll never be fully satisfied with the singing in modern recordings. The cuts don't bother me, because I've heard these operas enough to know what's going on. I treasure every moment they included.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    13,780
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I learned a lesson when I bought a 1950s copy of the Rheingold in a live performance. I did not know the opera at all and found it impossible to listen because of the poor sound. These historical sets are not for beginners but people who know the music well and are listening as a supplement.

  6. Likes Belowpar liked this post
  7. #6
    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    S Jersey c. Philadelphia
    Posts
    2,881
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    Don't let the cuts put you off, it is interesting to understand how Wagner was performed in those days,especially in the USA... I recommend this box set highly.
    Little to add to this or the post that immediately follows. Melchior's performances alone are worth the price of the set. Furthermore, if you do not yet have a 'Dresden Version' Tannhäuser, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than starting with this one.
    Last edited by Chi_townPhilly; Aug-19-2013 at 02:27.
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

  8. #7
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    10,481
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    I have known these performances for many years and I will describe them all.
    First the sound in all cases is improved, but bear in mind these are radio broadcasts from 1936 to 1954
    HOLLANDER. 1950 Hotter Varnay Reiner. This is just one of the very best performances of this opera ever. No cuts
    TANNHAUSER 1954 Vinay Harshaw Varnay London Szell. Great performance great singing no cuts.
    LOHENGRIN 1943 Melchior( still in top form) Varnay Sved(one of the biggest baritone voices) no cuts of any significance .Great.
    TRISTAN 1938 Flagstad Melchior List Huehn Bodansky standard MET cuts especially act 2. Good sound.
    MEISTERSINGER 1953 terrific cast Reiner but very bad cuts in act 3 great sound. Great for the cast.
    RHEINGOLD 1951 Stiedry Hotter Svanholm excellent performance uncut.
    WALKURE 1940 Flagstad BR. Lawrence Si. Melchior Huehn Leinsdorf tremendous performance with Lawrence as Sieglinde and Flagstad as Brunnhilde. Julius Huehn was a great Wotan . Would that we had his like today. Melchior incomparable. Sound good.
    SIEGFRIED 1937 the only broadcast with Melchior as Siegfried and the great Schorr as the Wanderer - Flagstad sublime some cuts.
    Götterdämmerung 1936 Melchior and Lawrence as Brunnhilde. This issue is better than the Naxos CDs that were issued a few years ago.
    I doubt If anyone would want this as an introduction to Wagner, but as a supplement to increase understanding of the music under great conductors of the old 19th century tradition and to hear the singers who were undoubtably the best of all time in Wagner in very good sound, this issue is an absolute gift at the price. Amazon list it at £38 for 25 discs.
    Don't let the cuts put you off, it is interesting to understand how Wagner was performed in those days,especially in the USA.
    Mostly it was to do with length of performance. The Met used to insert an interval halfway through Rheingold!
    In the case of Meistersinger, the ending was always cut (WW2 et al.)
    and it had to wait until 1979 to be performed as it should be.
    I recommend this box set highly.
    You may have talked me into it
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    10,481
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    You may have talked me into it
    Just ordered it .................
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    10,481
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I just received this set.
    I haven't started listening to it yet, but I have to say,
    what a beautiful set this is!!!!!!
    Sturdy, well made cardboard outer box.
    Beautiful booklet with plenty of great pictures.
    Beautiful cardboard booklet like cd cases that fold open.
    This really is a gorgeous collectors item.
    For 40 dollars, if you're at all interested in this GET IT.
    You'll love it.
    And now for the singing.
    Last edited by Itullian; Sep-20-2013 at 22:22.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  11. Likes Revenant, Figleaf liked this post
  12. #10
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    10,481
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Just listened to Rheingold from this set and all I can say is
    WOW!!!!!!!!
    The singing is AMAZING and the recording is very good to my ears.
    Listened to it twice already.
    This is now one of my favorite Rheingolds.
    On to Walkure !!!!!
    Last edited by Itullian; Sep-30-2013 at 15:16.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  13. Likes Revenant liked this post
  14. #11
    Senior Member Pip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    375
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It is a pity that they did not use the Walküre from the same Cycle. -this was the cast -
    Metropolitan Opera House
    February 3, 1951 Matinee Broadcast
    DIE WALKÜRE
    Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle

    Brünnhilde..............Kirsten Flagstad
    Siegmund................Günther Treptow
    Sieglinde...............Astrid Varnay
    Wotan...................Ferdinand Frantz
    Fricka..................Blanche Thebom
    Hunding.................Luben Vichey
    Gerhilde................Thelma Votipka
    Grimgerde...............Martha Lipton
    Helmwige................Regina Resnik
    Ortlinde................Irene Jessner
    Rossweisse..............Lucielle Browning
    Schwertleite............Jean Madeira
    Siegrune................Hertha Glaz
    Waltraute...............Jeanne Palmer

    Conductor...............Fritz Stiedry

    This would have been a great release - Varnay and Flagstad sang rarely together - they had a great releationship with one another.Their singing in Act 3 together is not a long part, but WOW!, it blows you away.
    On her last Walküre performance ever, in London at CG -31 May 1951, Flagstad sang with Varnay again only this time with the approval of David Webster, the general manager, they swapped roles - Varnay sang Brünnhilde and Flagstad, Sieglinde.
    Sadly, the performance was not preserved.

    The Walküre in the MET box is also great, but has been around for a long time.
    Sony missed a trick here.
    Last edited by Pip; Sep-30-2013 at 18:12.

  15. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    UAE
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Just ordered it. Cannot wait to get it.

  16. #13
    Senior Member gardibolt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    1,403
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It's a good set and at least when I bought it, ridiculously cheap. I'd say that if you can tolerate the sound of Toscanini recordings, you'll be very happy with it. The singing is extraordinary for the most part though obviously in a box of this size not everything will be perfect. As to cuts, well, it's the Met in the 1930s and 40s.
    Hours of unrecorded, unpublished and unknown Beethoven works at The Unheard Beethoven

  17. Likes Figleaf liked this post
  18. #14
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    10,481
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Been listening to Stiedry's Rheingold from this set.
    WOW What a cast!!!!
    Surely one of the best Rheingolds.
    And decent sound.

    I wish they'd reissue the other 3 parts.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  19. #15
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Great Britain
    Posts
    3,572
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Been listening to Stiedry's Rheingold from this set.
    WOW What a cast!!!!
    Surely one of the best Rheingolds.
    And decent sound.

    I wish they'd reissue the other 3 parts.
    If you just want to hear them and don't have a burning desire to have them in your collection, they are on YouTube.
    Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate!

  20. Likes Itullian liked this post
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. WAGNER on cd.
    By Itullian in forum Opera on DVD, Blu-ray and CD
    Replies: 671
    Last Post: Aug-29-2018, 23:23
  2. Why do you NOT like Wagner?
    By tyroneslothrop in forum Opera
    Replies: 1078
    Last Post: Jan-09-2017, 09:14
  3. Wagner for people who don't like Wagner
    By Couchie in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 69
    Last Post: Jan-13-2014, 22:28
  4. Wagner-ish
    By Ukko in forum Opera
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: May-30-2013, 20:28

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •