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Thread: Die Walkure, just the first act

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Default Die Walkure, just the first act

    Rather than just the whole Wagner catalogue I'm interested in your opinions of recordings of this act as an entity of its own. One of the many peculiarities of the Ring is that this is many fans' favourite act of the Ring, yet contains only 3 relatively minor characters.

    Help me make sense of the many recordings. What are the best singing performances and conducting and why?

    I'm currently working through the versions I have, and would like to know what to listen out for.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander View Post
    Rather than just the whole Wagner catalogue I'm interested in your opinions of recordings of this act as an entity of its own. One of the many peculiarities of the Ring is that this is many fans' favourite act of the Ring, yet contains only 3 relatively minor characters.

    Help me make sense of the many recordings. What are the best singing performances and conducting and why?

    I'm currently working through the versions I have, and would like to know what to listen out for.
    I assume you know the Bruno Walter recording with Lotte Lehmann and Lauritz Melchior. Incandescent!
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    I assume you know the Bruno Walter recording with Lotte Lehmann and Lauritz Melchior. Incandescent!
    'Hotter than sin,' in fact. ;D
    "Let me have my own way in exactly everything, and a sunnier and more pleasant creature does not exist." - Thomas Carlyle

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Then there's this one, with Flagstad as Sieglinde and Brunhilde! Spectacular sound, too!
    image.jpg
    Knaperstbusch in Act 1, Solti in Act 3.
    Last edited by MAS; May-22-2015 at 00:00.

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    I assume you know the Bruno Walter recording with Lotte Lehmann and Lauritz Melchior. Incandescent!
    Yes, actually I'm currently rather obsessed with it. Isn't it amazing that something from 80 years ago is a benchmark?

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander View Post
    Yes, actually I'm currently rather obsessed with it. Isn't it amazing that something from 80 years ago is a benchmark?
    I suspect it'll still be a benchmark in another 80 years.

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    I'm not sure which is my favorite, but the one I reach for for an exciting ride is the Bohm.
    Rysanek and King are fantastic together
    Good stereo from Bayreuth,
    and the primal scream Rysanek lets out when Siegmund pulls
    out the sword is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!
    Gives me chills every time.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    This is my favourite act of the Ring. While recognising the qualities of the Lehmann / Melchior I do find the distanced orchestra and the ancient recording are handicaps. Furtwangler 1954 has some remarkable conducting but the one I go to the most is Karajan 1966 with the BPO roaring through he storms and flickering as the sword is revealed. The cast is so interesting with the incomparable Vickers (yes, I'd say he was a match for anyone in this part including Melchior) paired with with a young sounding Janowitz and Talvela full of menace. Not the usual crash bang conducting of some but see how Karajan builds the climaxes!

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    I'm not sure which is my favorite, but the one I reach for for an exciting ride is the Bohm.
    Rysanek and King are fantastic together
    Good stereo from Bayreuth,
    and the primal scream Rysanek lets out when Siegmund pulls
    out the sword is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!
    Gives me chills every time.
    to me King is so wooden he might as well be a piece of furniture!

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    to me King is so wooden he might as well be a piece of furniture!
    That's the spirit, let's have some opinions! Actually I listened to this one this morning, and sort of agree that it's sturdy rather than thrilling. I quite like the Bohm Ring. Robust rather than subtle.

    I also listened to the Goodall Ring in English. I guess no more than acceptable although I'd love to see a live ring in English one day. ENO's recent Mastersinger was superb, with a wonderful translation.

    Right now I'm watching the Lepage/Met DVD with Kaufmann and Westbroek. Her acting isn't great but overall this is excellent, Kaufman obviously. Thankfully the 'machine' is largely static throughout.

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    THE RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES is the best part to me.

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    Senior Member Celloman's Avatar
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    Clemens Krauss, conductor

    Ramon Vinay - Siegmund
    Regina Resnik - Sieglinde
    Josef Greindl - Hunding



    Well, what do you know? This is also my favorite act in the Ring cycle. My very first Ring was the Krauss and for me he remains the go-to guy for Die Walkure Act I. The pacing is just right and Krauss lands those climaxes as though his life depended on it. Vinay and Resnik pack a punch and actually sound like twins. That's fine by me.
    More cowbell!
    .....-Gustav Mahler

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