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

  1. #4651
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Well, another let down from my purchases. This recording is specially good to enjoy a Kundry, Amfortas and also Gurnemanz in top form, but the conducting and a rough Parsifal don't make me enjoy this at all. I had even bought it in FLAC

    I'm now listening to the first installment of the 1977 Munich Ring conducted by Sawallisch (DR and GDR in January, DW and SF in June-July) and despite the SQ, I really like what I'm hearing. I hope it is a great set in my library until Warner reissues the 80s Ring in Stereo.



    18-22 MAY (PST)

    Richard Wagner
    DAS RHEINGOLD
    DIE WALKÜRE
    SIEGFRIED
    GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG

    on CD

    In the Opera on DVD, Bluray and CD section we just started the poll to vote for our favourite recordings from 150 different operas, starting from the single operas from the Ring until friday, complete Ring on Weekend, and the list will continue every 2 days. Feel free to participate as much as you want.

    Visit this thread to start:

    Positions 1-10 Recordings Poll
    Last edited by Granate; May-20-2020 at 11:21.
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  3. #4652
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adriesba View Post
    I've seen that clip before, but it confuses me. It seems to be from a movie. Melchior is not Melchior? His master's voice dog, what? Is that really how they recorded way back when with tiny orchestras and singers moving closer and farther to the funnel thing? I am so confused.
    It's a movie. Melchior made quite a few of them. This one is "Two Sisters From Boston," released in 1946. They did indeed record that way in the acoustic era, before about 1925. The "His Master's Voice" logo with the dog in front of the recording horn was RCA's trademark.

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  5. #4653
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    On picture: Wagner: Götterdämmerung, Bayreuth Festival 1952, Joseph Keilberth

    Third try to this recording. Siegfried and Brunnhilde are much stronger than I remember. I'm thinking about complementing with the Kna recordings from 1958 and 1957. I think only Gutrune, Waltraute and Siegfried change from 1952 to 1957. I would thank a lot Kna's conducting and SQ, but usually for me the last opera is the toughest, and I don't often care for conducting (even Furtwängler only scores two awesome moments in more than 4h), but I want the best singing and this is giving me the best. Also, more Mödl. Since I may own recordings of Mödl playing the Third Norn, Gutrune, Waltraute and Brunnhilde in the same opera. Lol.

    This is going to my wishlist.
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  7. #4654
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Melchior is on a quest to ruin all other Lohengrins...

    (I only wonder, if Lohengrin hadn't mentioned that he cannot say his name, would Elsa have remembered to even ask it. )
    Last edited by annaw; May-24-2020 at 16:11.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post

    Is that a man or a woman?

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  11. #4656
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Is that a man or a woman?
    I don't care as long as in my mind's eye I can imagine a Lohengrin with the looks of Jess Thomas and the voice of Melchior .

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  13. #4657
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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post


    Melchior is on a quest to ruin all other Lohengrins...

    (I only wonder, if Lohengrin hadn't mentioned that he cannot say his name, would Elsa have remembered to even ask it. )
    I must listen to this recording, that's a superb cast and whilst I have a Melchior Lohengrin, it has Varnay as Elsa and she doesn't sound right for the role (she was a very good Ortrud, of course).

    N.

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    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    I must listen to this recording, that's a superb cast and whilst I have a Melchior Lohengrin, it has Varnay as Elsa and she doesn't sound right for the role (she was a very good Ortrud, of course).

    N.
    Oh, and now I must listen to the one you mentioned! Thanks to all these 50s Rings I haven't had a choice but to start liking Varnay.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    I must listen to this recording, that's a superb cast and whilst I have a Melchior Lohengrin, it has Varnay as Elsa and she doesn't sound right for the role (she was a very good Ortrud, of course).

    N.
    Varnay was young in the performance you mention, at least, and her voice wasn't as dark and heavy as it later became. There's a superb Met Sieglinde from her at about the same time. Later on I thought Ortrud was the Wagner role that suited her best, though I realize her Brunnhilde has devoted fans. Rethberg was past her prime by 1940 - she retired just two years later - so I'd be curious to hear how her Elsa sounds.

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  19. #4660
    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    Melchior is on a quest to ruin all other Lohengrins...
    And before he dies, he may just do it.
    Alan

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  21. #4661
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Varnay was young in the performance you mention, at least, and her voice wasn't as dark and heavy as it later became. There's a superb Met Sieglinde from her at about the same time. Later on I thought Ortrud was the Wagner role that suited her best, though I realize her Brunnhilde has devoted fans. Rethberg was past her prime by 1940 - she retired just two years later - so I'd be curious to hear how her Elsa sounds.
    I should give it a listen again as I didn't like her Sieglinde (from 1955), but the singing is so good I've got used to her darker tone in the role. I agree that Ortrud was her Wagner role that suited her best (what a wonderful Venus she would have made). Like Modl I feel she was more of a mezzo than a soprano, but that can pass for Brunhilde, though not for Elsa or Sieglinde.

    N.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    I should give it a listen again as I didn't like her Sieglinde (from 1955), but the singing is so good I've got used to her darker tone in the role. I agree that Ortrud was her Wagner role that suited her best (what a wonderful Venus she would have made). Like Modl I feel she was more of a mezzo than a soprano, but that can pass for Brunhilde, though not for Elsa or Sieglinde.

    N.
    The Sieglinde I'm speaking of is from 1941. It struck me as virtually ideal in vocal color and weight, as well as dramatically sharp. She was a true soprano then and hadn't developed the loose vibrato or the habit of scooping up to notes that put me off her later work.

    It's on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3OAHSWs5-4

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  24. #4663
    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    The Sieglinde I'm speaking of is from 1941. It struck me as virtually ideal in vocal color and weight, as well as dramatically sharp. She was a true soprano then and hadn't developed the loose vibrato or the habit of scooping up to notes that put me off her later work.

    It's on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3OAHSWs5-4
    It's a performance worth hearing, and of historical interest. Dating from December 6, 1941, the day before Pearl Harbor, it features a 23-year-old Varnay, who had never appeared on any stage, stepping in for an indisposed Lotte Lehmann. It was also the first Brünnhilde of Helen Traubel, after Flagstad's return to German-occupied Norway. Both Traubel and Varnay had impressive debuts, and their Act III scene together is as intense as you'll ever hear.
    Last edited by amfortas; May-25-2020 at 19:27.
    Alan

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  26. #4664
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    It's a performance worth hearing, and of historical interest. Dating from December 6, 1941, the day before Pearl Harbor, it features a 23-year-old Varnay, who had never appeared on any stage, stepping in for an indisposed Lotte Lehmann. It was also the first Brünnhilde of Helen Traubel, after Flagstad's return to German-occupied Norway. Both Traubel and Varnay had impressive debuts, and their Act III scene together is as intense as you'll ever hear.


    An amazing debut for Astrid (known to her astonished local friends as Violet) notice the picture on her vanity, Flagstad later helped her friend immensely with recommendation to Wagner family for 1951 Bayreuth festival, Astrid took over from there......


    Last edited by DarkAngel; May-26-2020 at 06:17.

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  28. #4665
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    In the next days I'm going to stream the Bayreuth Canon performances from Metropolitan 50s-60s that I had ignored in my Wagner Challenges. The Italian Opera performances there made me change my mind. Probably they also have amazing singers. Several Meistersingers, Tristan und Isoldes, a Tannhauser, a Parsifal, a Lohengrin, the 61-62 Ring again...

    The lengths of the Spotify albums seem suspicious... Are they cut?

    I'm going to listen to the Sawallisch Wagner Ring from Rome 1968 too.

    I listened to the 1976 Bayreuth Tristan und Isolde again, more than competent singers, but especially a wild Act III.

    Which of the Nilsson/Dalis Met Tristans do you prefer? 60 or 61?

    Also, today is the last of two to vote for your favourite recording on CD and DVD of Tristan und Isolde. You can follow up the poll here.

    Positions 01-10 - The 2020 Talk Classical Recommended Opera on CD and DVD Poll
    Last edited by Granate; May-26-2020 at 10:55.
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