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

  1. #121
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    I'll just jump in here for no good reason and say, with great diplomatic finesse, that I find Kna's '51 Parsifal powerful and profound in spots but a little lacking in momentum and cohesion. His tempos in the work got faster over his Bayreuth years (1951 to 1964), and although tempo doesn't necessarily correlate with drama, his later, quicker performances seem to me about perfect in both respects. The '62 is a beautifully cohesive performance in which I find the contemplative and dramatic elements ideally balanced. I've read that the final performance from '64 with Vickers as Parsifal is even more dramatic, but I've only heard the final scene, which is on YT.

    This matter of "authentic" tempo in Wagner is complicated. It's true that Wagner complained about people dragging his music, but I think that has to be seen in the context of the music's complexity and originality. Wagner packs an unprecedented amount of harmonic change into a small space, and the natural tendency of musicians would have been to slow things down to get it all in and clearly articulated. We have a few timings for Wagner's own performances of his preludes, and while he took the Meistersinger prelude quickly, his two timed performances of the Parsifal prelude are about average modern tempos, with one of them on the slow side of that - much slower than Kna in '62. It's also documented that when he took the baton from Levi at the final performance and led the last scene himself, the singers said it was slow enough to challenge their breath support. Perhaps he was just feeling sentimental - his speech of gratitude to the performers after it was over supposedly had them crying - but it's clear that a range of tempo is appropriate in Wagner as in any composer. Whatever works!

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  3. #122
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Well, so far I've listened to Rheingold, Walkure Act 3 and Gotter Act 3.
    WOW, Hotter and Varnay in Walkure are phenomenal just like you said DA. And the Magic Fire Music was beautifully done
    The Rheingold was great too holding my attention throughout. Especially liked the giants, Greindl and Weber.
    Gotter Act 3 is one of the best ever. Siegfried's Funeral music totally gripping, his stabbing very horrifying, Varnay just awesome throughout, emolation scene heartwrenching and beautiful.
    The sound throughout is very good.

    Something else i really love is that MYTO payed attention to placing as many complete acts as they could on individual discs which i LOOOOOOOVE.

    Some nice photos too.

    Needless to say, enjoying this set.
    Can't wait to get the Knappy 57 and 58.

    ps what do you think of that Tannhauser i posted?
    Last edited by Itullian; Apr-26-2015 at 20:13.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  5. #123
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    We are getting very spoiled now feasting on these classic golden age Rings like 1952 Keilberth with such great singers, how can I watch the new MET Ring on video with Debra Voight as Brunnhilde when I have memories of 1952 Astrid Varnay's godlike vocal performance...........

    We must keep buying the classics, yessssssss!!!!!!!

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  7. #124
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Could i be liking Varnay more than Nilsson?
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  8. #125
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Hey DA
    Check out this cast.............


    I like that 1954 Tannhauser and have owned it for many years in the cheap opera d oro release which has pretty good sound, it is possible that the sound has been improved with more recent Andromeda label version in your picture.......


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  10. #126
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Listening now to K52 Walkure Act 1 to check out Treptow.
    i get the chills every time i hear those opening stings.
    i wonder if Williams got his Jaws music here
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  11. #127
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    I like that 1954 Tannhauser and have owned it for many years in the cheap opera d oro release which has pretty good sound, it is possible that the sound has been improved with more recent Andromeda label version in your picture.......

    With that cast i must get it.
    It says 24 bit on front.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  13. #128
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    i noticed it says Archipel on the MYTO sets. Are they the same company?
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  14. #129
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post

    Whatever works!
    Kna 51 doesn't for me! Karajan live Vienna 61 does. Pity the sound is limited. But must be heard for the Act 2

  15. #130
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    We are getting very spoiled now feasting on these classic golden age Rings like 1952 Keilberth with such great singers, how can I watch the new MET Ring on video with Debra Voight as Brunnhilde when I have memories of 1952 Astrid Varnay's godlike vocal performance...........

    We must keep buying the classics, yessssssss!!!!!!!
    It's an embarrassment of riches DA
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  16. #131
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Just finished Act 1 Walkure. Keilberth uses a fast tempo at the end here, but man, is it exciting.
    Borkh is so alluring and Teptow really lets go with the emotion.
    Greindl is awesome, of course.
    I'll be listening to this again.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  18. #132
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Kna 51 doesn't for me! Karajan live Vienna 61 does. Pity the sound is limited. But must be heard for the Act 2
    I just recently picked up that Vienna Karajan Parsifal for $1 (yes, one dollar) at a local library. It's the Opera d'Oro but sonics aren't the point anyway. I'm looking forward to it.

  19. #133
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    I just recently picked up that Vienna Karajan Parsifal for $1 (yes, one dollar) at a local library. It's the Opera d'Oro but sonics aren't the point anyway. I'm looking forward to it.
    1 dollar?!
    Couldn't you bargain with them?
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  21. #134
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    I just recently picked up that Vienna Karajan Parsifal for $1 (yes, one dollar) at a local library. It's the Opera d'Oro but sonics aren't the point anyway. I'm looking forward to it.
    Is this the Parsifal where Karajan thought it would be a good idea to have two different women to sing different parts for Kundry........
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Apr-27-2015 at 04:43.

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  23. #135
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Note to Itullian, the Wagner fever has not abated, purchased a very cheap Walhall 1958 Bayreuth Lohengrin set.......unusual for having Cluytens in the saddle as conductor



    Instead of paying a fortune for the Kubelik Parsifal with Sandor Konya I will go this route, you know Varnay will be great Ortud........

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