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Thread: Historical Wagner Recordings...............

  1. #2596
    Senior Member Bill H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    ^^^^ yes I have some items not listed yet so we are missing some, primary goal was to get website up and running. Rose did say no data was lost so eventually entire catalog should be listed........
    Unfortunately, the old purchase data that the former website had on file for us was lost, so alas no ability to go back and redownload new copies of we had previously bought
    Last edited by Bill H.; Feb-21-2017 at 00:21.

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    Senior Member Bill H.'s Avatar
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    Just a heads-up, today I got one of the periodic updates from Berkshire Record Outlet, and they have copies of the Testament 1955 Bayreuth Stereo "Rheingold" and "Dutchman," both conducted by Joseph Keilberth. Both sets are US$18 each. Their stock also has the 1955 "Siegfried" at US$36, and his earlier Ring Cycle from 1952, but on other labels.

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    Senior Member gardibolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    Dark Angel was right--they're still rebuilding the catalog. It already contains more than last night, including the aforementioned Furtwängler La Scala Ring.
    The things that Pristine hasn't added back yet are subject to improvement. For instance, the Furtwängler La Scala Ring in its mp3 form used to be mono (which is the one I have). Now the mp3 is Ambient Stereo, and I'm seriously considering a double dip.
    Hours of unrecorded, unpublished and unknown Beethoven works at The Unheard Beethoven

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  5. #2599
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    This Gala label series is well worth getting, there are 4 volumes with 4Cds each very cheap under $10 each at Amazon USA sellers. These contain selected extended live Ring scences and studio Ring scences drawn for various sources from 1930-55 era performances at MET, ROH, Bayreuth etc.

    Much of the material is available on individual Cds from different labels at much higher prices (sometimes insane prices) there is no info given about contents before purchase at Amazon, so here is run down of volume 4:

    Gotterdammerung scences:

    - 38 Furtwangler ROH live
    - 37 Furtwangler Bayreuth live
    - 37 Furtwangler ROH live
    - 48 Furtwangler studio
    - 39 McArthur SFO live
    - 55 McArthur Carnegie Hall
    - 51 Sebastian studio

    Walkure scences:

    - 49 Bohm studio
    - 37 Ormandy live
    - 55 McArthur Carnegie Hall

    Siegfried scences:

    - 51 Sebastian studio

    These feature all the "A" list singers of the era in sound that is as good as any Naxos historical of the same time period, booklet is surprisingly informative at budget price level with all track listings plus some nice photos and performance background info, this one is 24 pages long, for wagner collectors these are buy buy buy.........

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  7. #2600
    Senior Member cheftimmyr's Avatar
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    Potted Ring.jpg

    FINALLY some "Ring-Therapy" time all to myself... I've been so anxious to get into the Potted Ring from Pristine that my delay in being able to do so has produced mass-anxiety for me... All is well now!

    I remember when I first started getting heavily into the Wagner recordings, and especially leaning into the Historical's, I was apprehensive about the Potted Ring. The idea of sound quality and, to some degree, these singers that performed almost a hundred years ago... I mean, how good could they actually be?!?!?! My intro to Melchior as Siegmund was bliss and so I took the plunge on my last Pristine order and scooped up the Potted Ring Cycle.

    First, the sound quality... For me, on my setup at home with good quality headphones I have been blown away by the quality of the recordings; so impressive words can't explain (and no, I don't think I'm gushing to extremes here... give it a listen if you don't believe me!). As an aside, I'm thrilled to see Mr Rose and the Pristine team have their new site up and running!

    Thus far, I've listened thru the Reingold/Walkure discs which clocked in at about 2.5hrs of time total; talk about abbreviated Wagner! That was also another concern I had, the cuts, edits and missing pieces I thought might be an issue for me but I plotted out all the tracks in my libretto and then listening was a breeze as I was able to skip ahead without losing momentum.

    The Rheingold portion was extremely short, at approx 22 mins but the Symphony Orchestra's prelude immediately transported me to the Rhine. I'm so used to hearing Niedlinger's "Alberich" that it took a second to get over not hearing him, but Arthur Fear has a pleasant and well-sung interpretation for me, albeit a very short sampling. I'll also go ahead and mention Fred Schorr's "Wotan" here. My only exposure to him thus far were excerpts of his Hans Sachs which I found sublime... His Wotan I thoroughly enjoyed in both Rheingold and Walkure. Some of the recordings throughout are from different dates, as well as live vs studio, so it was really interesting to hear subtle changes. I love his overall timbre and intonation; his Wotan came across as more elderly than Hotters and without the dramatics of Hotter, but the voice is so good (His "Leb Wohl" in Walkure is mesmorizing). If I didn't hear another Wotan besides Schorr and Hotter for the rest of my life, I wouldn't feel deprived!

    Die Walkure introduced me to more "new" voices (for me); Walter Widdop's "Siegmund" was fine indeed. There was a somewhat youthful tone I heard in his vocals that really captured the part well for me. Well sung to the point I can't really think of anything that felt amiss; (his "Walse" wailing didn't have the heft or purity of Melchior's but I haven't heard anyone equal to that so far). The Sieglinde of Gota Ljungberg was a good pairing and the Act 1 Scene 3 duets had good chemistry.

    The biggest takeaway for me, and why I will go back to this Walkure many times over is.... Frida-freaking-Lieder! Absolutely blew me away. There are a few portions where the recording has Florence Austral in the part and the difference is considerable, noticeable and disappointing; Lieder set the bar so very high for me, hearing her Brunnhilde. I think it might be the first soprano that made the part sound effortless. The purity and silk of her timbre and the fluidity with which she sang the role just blew me away; she made Brunnhilde come to life for me in a most feminine and desirable way.

    As for the orchestra's I enjoyed the BSOO and LSO both very much; Coates & Blech were at the rostrum for the majority of the recordings, but it was cool to hear a Barbirolli segment and also hearing the quality difference between the live recordings and the sets recorded in London Abbey studios.

    Apologies for the lengthy post but it's been a while and the last 2.5+ hours have been enchanting in the world of The Potted Ring... next up Siegfried and Gott... (If I haven't made myself clear; this should be part of any Wagner enthusiasts collection!)

    Thx for pushing me into getting this DA!
    Last edited by cheftimmyr; Mar-03-2017 at 06:48.

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  9. #2601
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    ^^^^^ Without doubt this is the best sound quality document we have of these wonderful historical singers in their prime voice, assembled from the best studio recordings available, Andrew Rose/Obert-Thorn are doing gods work here........

    Great to hear your comments Chefty, keep spreading the word and Frida wishes you all the best for your kind words of support

    Last edited by DarkAngel; Mar-03-2017 at 17:24.

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    Senior Member gardibolt's Avatar
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    The Potted Ring is a hoot, and you're right, the sound quality is shockingly good. The folks who sneer at Pristine's work are missing out on some great stuff. I think I've listened to that set more than any other Ring Cycle I have besides Solti.
    Hours of unrecorded, unpublished and unknown Beethoven works at The Unheard Beethoven

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  13. #2603
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    I can't remember if I posted this before, but it looks interesting:

    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    I can't remember if I posted this before, but it looks interesting:

    This looks interesting. I have a companion volume called Les Introuvables du Chant Wagnerien. Highly recommended.
    Last edited by Barbebleu; Mar-03-2017 at 21:35.
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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    This looks interesting. I have a companion volume called Les Introuvables du Chant Wagnerien. Highly recommended.
    $49 used on Amazon right now. The one I posted is cheaper but still expensive compared to buying an entire historical cycle of one conductor, so it is hard to justify a 4-CD set like this at much of a price.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  18. #2606
    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    This looks interesting. I have a companion volume called Les Introuvables du Chant Wagnerien. Highly recommended.
    The cover looks like it is from the Silent version of Die Nibelungen. It may be interesting that when he was asked to compose the music, Gottfried Huppertz specifically wanted to avoid quoting or imitating Wagner. His score is pretty good, although it has obviously had nothing like the impact of Wagner's music. (It is available on CD, both in a shorter and longer form.)

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  20. #2607
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    I can't remember if I posted this before, but it looks interesting:

    Some really interesting stuff here. I have a copy of this I'd be willing to part with. PM me and we'll talk about it.

  21. #2608
    Senior Member cheftimmyr's Avatar
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    Sieg.jpg

    "Sieeeeeeegfried, Siegfried......"

    My "Siegfried" Potted Ring experience was mostly satisfying. Hearing Melchior's interpretation was impressive. In fact, as I was listening to Melchior and Schorr's Wotan, I couldn't help wondering in disappointment why we don't have artists of this caliber today to enjoy in these roles...... Alas!

    Despite my impressions of Melchior being a brash-and-belty singer personality I was genuinely taken aback by the thoughtful and emotional facets he brought to Siegfried... the vulnerability which he delivers during the forest murmurs and also his lament of feeling alone, truly rounded out a "complete" Siegfried for me. "Notung" was a true highlight of his voice, even if something seemed amiss to me amongst the orchestra when "Mime's" vocals were brought in during the piece; transitions seemed clunky and very slow in tempo at those places. Melchior seems to have been born for the role which has given so many others fits.

    I didn't care much for Tessmer's "Mime"... until Reiss took over the part later on which I thought was extremely poor, at which point I began to MISS Tessmer in the role... unfortunate overall.

    Schorr as the Wanderer was superb; a hint of regality in the voice giving us an air of the underlying Wotan. His back and forth with Mime was engaging, I only wish we could hear him as The Wanderer when he addresses Erda; unfortunately Emil Schipper underwhelmed during his takeover of the part which was a bummer to me being that it is a crucial juncture of the opera. Melchior's encounter with The Wanderer (Schorr) to pass up the mountain was drama filled; such clarity of diction and intensity, I'm so glad that portion made it onto the recording and not the cutting floor.

    Habich's "Alberich" was well-enough played... the infighting between himself and Mime was entertaining and had good energy as did his confrontation with The Wanderer (which unfortunately suffered big cuts). The downside was his assumption of Fafner's voice... I'm sure technology was very limited at the time but it wasn't even close to the sounding of the Wurm-beast!

    Florence Easton's "Brunnhilde" was a first for me; perhaps it was her sharing the "stage" (or studio as it were) with Melchior, but her voice seemed much too light for the part and there were two instances where I'm sure she missed pitch altogether. Since these were studio tracks I was a bit surprised at that and of course, still flying high from my Frida Lieder encounter it made me yearn to hear that voice in its' place! Easton didn't have the vocal power that say Astrid Varnay brought to "Heil dir, sonne.....". I don't mean to imply it was a "bad" performance, but being paired with Melchior he totally eclipsed her to the point that Brunnhilde became a supporting character instead of sharing the stage equally with Siegfried.

    I feel like I've heard a benchmark Siegfried from Melchior, along with a wonderful Wanderer from Schorr...

    (there were a few orchestration quibbles I had, but nothing too major and not worth mentioning.)

    Potted Gotterdammerung next!

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  23. #2609
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    $49 used on Amazon right now. The one I posted is cheaper but still expensive compared to buying an entire historical cycle of one conductor, so it is hard to justify a 4-CD set like this at much of a price.
    My Les Introuvables du Ring arrived today. £12 from Amazon.co.uk marketplace. A steal I think. I shall report back when I get to it.
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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    My Les Introuvables du Ring arrived today. £12 from Amazon.co.uk marketplace. A steal I think. I shall report back when I get to it.
    Nice! I find that sometimes I can order from Amazon.co.uk and sometimes I can't. It saved me about $14 on a DVD once to go with the UK Amazon.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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