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Thread: Just downloaded Solti'S '83 Bayreuth Ring

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    Default Just downloaded Solti'S '83 Bayreuth Ring

    I just downloaded Solti's Bayreuth Ring from 1983. I've listened to parts of Rheingold and Siegfried - the sound is great and I've liked what I've heard thus far. Anyone else have this? Very interesting story behind it.

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    I would like to hear more about this recording.

    I assume that it is a live recording.

    However, I've read that the moving platform used in the production was rather noisy and Solti was unsatisfied with the recording quality. Am I recalling this correctly?

    I also remember reading that Solti found the Bayreuth sunken orchestral pit to be a challenge to his conducting. I believe the problem he experienced was aligning the tempo between the orchestra and the singers. I think that Wolfgang Wagner even permitted the removal of a portion of the overhanging caul--which I remember thinking was an extraordinary concession.

    But Solti did not return the next year. Health reasons were the excuse, but I've always thought there were other, deeper unstated dissatisfactions. I'm intrigued to hear from gellio that he's impressed with what he has heard so far.

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    I just ripped it from YouTube to mp3. Conducting seems great to me.

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    Senior Member Oreb's Avatar
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    I picked this up about a year ago and I love Solti's work on it. Vocally, however, I think it's very poor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gellio View Post
    I just downloaded Solti's Bayreuth Ring from 1983. I've listened to parts of Rheingold and Siegfried - the sound is great and I've liked what I've heard thus far. Anyone else have this? Very interesting story behind it.
    Well, the whole thing started with a political scandal. Wolfgang Wagner had employed Simon Estes to sing Wotan, and Peter Hall insisted that all the Gods must then be sung by coloured singers or that Estes must use white make-up. When Estes was advised of this, he went ballistic, calling a press conference, accusing all of Racism and ultimately withdrew from the production, so we never did find out whether Hall would have resigned. (he insisted he would, had he been forced to accept "black and white gods" as he called it)
    Meanwhile Solti arrives and after the first orchestra rehearsal in the pit insisted that unless part of the shell was removed, he would quit. It was removed, but it did not help. He disliked the experience so much, he cancelled his 1984 appearances.
    Alberto Remedios was pencilled in to sing the Siegfrieds (having sung it at Covent Garden in 1980 and 82 in German) but he withdrew(a step too far - he said). Bayreuth had to revert to Manfred Jung, who had been singing it at Bayreuth for some time already. WW had problems replacing the Wotan(it ended up being split between Nimsgern and Norup,
    Solti was very unhappy about Nimsgern (very light voice) and other aspects of casting.
    Peter Hall's production was almost universally disliked and all in all, it is a miracle that the broadcast tapes sound so good.
    Solti does conduct in his inimitable manner and Behrens as Brünnhilde is magnificent.
    There are some very good things in this Ring, but it was not as good as the Rings Solti conducted at Covent Garden from 1964 to 1971.
    However it is a great bonus for all who only ever heard the Decca Ring from Solti to hear him conduct a live Ring.
    Last edited by Pip; Nov-27-2013 at 10:53.

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    Senior Member ahammel's Avatar
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    I seem to recall Siegfried was booed volubly on this recording. What was going on with the staging that was so terrible?

    Das Rheingold is the best of this cycle musically and vocally if memory serves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oreb View Post
    I picked this up about a year ago and I love Solti's work on it. Vocally, however, I think it's very poor.
    I agree with Oreb on this one.

    If you specifically want a Solti recording. His studio cycle with the Vienna PO might be worth checking out. For many, it's the benchmark for studio Ring Cycles.

    Normally, my recommendation for an entire cycle would be Bohm/1966 Bayreuth or for something more recent - Barenboim/1993 Bayreuth. However, the '55 Keilberth recording that was released a couple of years ago on the Testament label is possibly better than all of them.

    If you enjoy the one you've got - that's all that matters...but if want to go a little further down the rabbit hole, these would be a good place to start.
    This space for rent.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    her Hall would have resigned. (he insisted he would, had he been forced to accept "black and white gods" as he called it)
    Meanwhile Solti arrives and after the first orchestra rehearsal in the pit insisted that unless part of the shell was removed, he would quit. It was removed, but it did not help. He disliked the experience so much, he cancelled his 1984 appearances.
    Alberto Remedios was pencilled in to sing the Siegfrieds (having sung it at Covent Garden in 1980 and 82 in German) but he withdrew(a step too far - he said). Bayreuth had to revert to Manfred Jung, who had been singing it at Bayreuth for some time already. WW had problems replacing the Wotan(it ended up being split between Nimsgern and Norup,
    Solti was very unhappy about Nimsgern (very light voice) and other aspects of casting.
    Peter Hall's production was almost universally disliked and all in all, it is a miracle that the broadcast tapes sound so good.
    Solti does conduct in his inimitable manner and Behrens as Brünnhilde is magnificent.
    There are some very good things in this Ring, but it was not as good as the Rings Solti conducted at Covent Garden from 1964 to 1971.
    However it is a great bonus for all who only ever heard the Decca Ring from Solti to hear him conduct a live Ring.
    The Siegfried who was booked in was Reiner Goldberg. Solti spent a lot of time working with him only to find he could not remember the words on stage, even though he was good with the score in front of him! That's why Jung took over at the last minute. It was remembered as 'a disaster too horrible to contemplate!'

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    The Siegfried who was booked in was Reiner Goldberg. Solti spent a lot of time working with him only to find he could not remember the words on stage, even though he was good with the score in front of him! That's why Jung took over at the last minute. It was remembered as 'a disaster too horrible to contemplate!'
    That's correct about Goldberg who was chosen once Remedios decided not to do it. I'd quite forgotten about that. He came to London later in the 80s and sang the Siegfried roles under Haitink.(not very well as I remember)
    The scenery was not poor from memory the booing was for the bad singing. Nimsberg had a bad night as the Wanderer and the final duet was not up to standard. Jung really did save the show, but the audience did not like him much.

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    [HTML][/HTML]I just got Barenboim's yesterday. Love his conducting and the orchestral playing. Solti's studio is my favorite. I have 13 1/2 Rings. I'm obsessed.
    Last edited by gellio; Nov-28-2013 at 03:11.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gellio View Post
    [HTML][/HTML]I just got Barenboim's yesterday. Love his conducting and the orchestral playing. Solti's studio is my favorite. I have 13 1/2 Rings. I'm obsessed.
    ...forget the rabbit hole - you're already lost in the warren.
    This space for rent.

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    I really can't help myself. It's an illness. About every six months I get Ring obsessed and it usually involves a new Ring. This time it was 4 1/2 - Thielemann Vienna, Kielberth '55, Karajan, Barenboim and Gergiev. I returned the Thielemann Vienna because the sound was awful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gellio View Post
    I really can't help myself. It's an illness. About every six months I get Ring obsessed and it usually involves a new Ring. This time it was 4 1/2 - Thielemann Vienna, Kielberth '55, Karajan, Barenboim and Gergiev. I returned the Thielemann Vienna because the sound was awful.
    I got rid of the Thielemann because the singing was so poor!

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    Does anyone know if the recent London Proms Ring was recorded for commercial release? What I have heard of it sounded mighty indeed and the reviews were stellar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oreb View Post
    and the reviews were stellar.
    Stellar reviews? Who wrote them, Humphrey Bogart and Sophia Loren?

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