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Thread: Ring cycle : Barenboim vs. Levine vs. Karajan oh my!

  1. #151
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    Hmmm, which one are we talking about here? Solti? I don't think Levine messed with the voices. Not sure what Barenboim did.
    I said "Windgassen", i.e. the Solti.

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    Senior Member Bonetan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gellio View Post
    Morris is the best Wotan since Hotter. He has a commanding presence and sings with power and amazing tone.
    I disagree with this & never quite understood the infatuation with Morris. His German was only acceptable in America, his tone seems more tenorial than godlike imo, & he's constantly scooping & sliding into notes. I do love his acting though, & appreciate his tender approach to the farewell despite his not being my favorite voice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post
    So I have available Solti's Rheingold and Götterdämmerung already available, and don't like repeat copies....hence looking elsewhere for a full Ring.
    If you are still adding Ring cycles to your collection, I highly recommend you check out the Sawallisch 1989 Ring. My favorite and I don't think it has been mentioned in this thread before.
    “The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent look guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the mind of the masses.”
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  6. #154
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    If you are still adding Ring cycles to your collection, I highly recommend you check out the Sawallisch 1989 Ring. My favorite and I don't think it has been mentioned in this thread before.
    Good advice, if one search carefully you can find them ad bargain price.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    If you are still adding Ring cycles to your collection, I highly recommend you check out the Sawallisch 1989 Ring. My favorite and I don't think it has been mentioned in this thread before.
    You really have to like both Behrens and Kollo in order to enjoy this Ring cycle. I don't, so this one doesn't make it to anywhere near the top of my Ring list. Both singers were past their "sell by" date at the time of these performances. Kollo was much better a decade or so earlier for Janowski.

    It's included, BTW, in EMI/Warner's big 36 CD set of all of Wagner's operas.

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  10. #156
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    I was rather disappointed to learn that the Levine Ring on CD is studio. After all, Levine has a great cycle on DVD, and the CD covers use images from that live performance. Almost seems like false advertising. Oh, I guess I should just rip the DVDs to MP3s and use them instead of my studio CD set.


    Same thing happened with the wonderful Bernstein Fidelio DVD, the CD set has cover images from the DVD production, but is actually a studio recording.
    “The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent look guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the mind of the masses.”
    --Malcolm X

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    The Karajan is the one which comes off the shelf when I'm in the Wagner mood. He makes the music more human than others. I can almost love it rather than just admire it. One or two cast weaknesses but nothing really serious. Walkure is absolute magic with voices different to usual and Act 3 of Siegfried has a radiance that is simply unmatched. Wonderful Immolation too. Karajan was a great Wagner conductor.
    Janowski is very good, very consistent in casting, although Altimeyer is a tad over parted as Brunnhilde.
    Solti is dynamic but I do feel a bit battered after listening to it. His cast could mostly not be bettered though for traditional Wagner voices. However, Hotter's wobbly Wotan (caught too late) and Stoltz's screeching Mime are serious drawbacks for me.
    Bohm has much the same cast with a better Mime in Wolfhart and a steady wotan in Adam. However, Bohm rushes through allowing too little reflection and light and shade.
    I have Barenboim on DVD and it is a generally superb production, well sung, though I have not heard it in audio only.
    Bohm
    And you can get the Karajan on one audio Blu-Ray.

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  13. #158
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damianjb1 View Post
    And you can get the Karajan on one audio Blu-Ray.
    Techonology! I remember selling all those LPs of the Solti! I think there were around 19 originally! Came with a free barrow!
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-30-2019 at 09:57.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    I highly recommend you check out the Sawallisch 1989 Ring.
    I also have a soft spot for the Sawallisch Ring, not least for the performance of Sawallisch and his orchestra. Robert Holl is a fine Wotan, and Robert Tear was born to sing Loge... in fact, I wish he'd recorded the role more often, and I'm sure he'd have been a splendid Mime, too. With a cast that includes stalwarts like Ekkehard Wlaschiha, Matti Salminen, Kurt Moll, Marjana Lipovšek and Júlia Várady, it's a very enjoyable cycle overall, albeit it doesn't rival the top tier recommendations.

    I acknowledge the vocal issues some have with Kollo and Behrens, but dramatically they can't be faulted.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reichstag aus LICHT View Post
    I also have a soft spot for the Sawallisch Ring, not least for the performance of Sawallisch and his orchestra. Robert Holl is a fine Wotan.
    It's actually Robert Hale on the Sawallisch RING. He also sings the role on the aborted Decca cycle conducted by Dohnanyi.
    Last edited by wkasimer; Oct-30-2019 at 14:05.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    It's actually Robert Hale on the Sawallisch RING.
    Good catch - it was a slip of the pen/keyboard on my part. I meant to say Robert Hale, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reichstag aus LICHT View Post
    Good catch - it was a slip of the pen/keyboard on my part. I meant to say Robert Hale, of course.
    A propos of nothing, I was in the chorus of a Messiah performance around 1970 in which Hale was the bass soloist. I thought he was quite impressive back then, but whether it was mainly his singing or the fact that he was very tall, dark and handsome I don't recall. I doubt that anyone suspected he'd be singing Wotan someday.

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  20. #163
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    If you are still adding Ring cycles to your collection, I highly recommend you check out the Sawallisch 1989 Ring. My favorite and I don't think it has been mentioned in this thread before.
    I’ve been listening to the live Sawallisch performance for the first time today with great enjoyment. I like the way the Ring is naturally presented, with of course great voices, in an organic & unforced way. Highly recommended as another cycle worth hearing.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Oct-31-2019 at 00:07.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    You really have to like both Behrens and Kollo in order to enjoy this Ring cycle. I don't, so this one doesn't make it to anywhere near the top of my Ring list. Both singers were past their "sell by" date at the time of these performances. Kollo was much better a decade or so earlier for Janowski.

    It's included, BTW, in EMI/Warner's big 36 CD set of all of Wagner's operas.
    I'm totally with you here. Don't like Behrens. Her Brunnhilde is weak IMO. Makes this set unlistenable for me. The Janowski is a dud - beautifully played but so boring and the Brunnhilde - no.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    If you are still adding Ring cycles to your collection, I highly recommend you check out the Sawallisch 1989 Ring. My favorite and I don't think it has been mentioned in this thread before.
    Not to own, but I currently have a Spotify subscription so definitely will look to listen to it, thanks for the tip!

    So in the almost five years since I made this post, I have to give an update on my Ring journey. After time with lesser Rings, I've realized that both the Karajan and Solti Rings are as good as their reputations! I avoided both at first: Solti because it seemed overhyped. (I'm ashamed to say that now!) . I've had some unfortunate luck with some recordings in the past. Also, I knew many felt Solti was on the more bombastic side which I generally don't favor. I avoided Karajan merely for the price tag.

    Not fully satisfied with my other complete Rings, I finally ponied up over time and collected both of these cycles individually. And I'm glad I finally made the investment! Both recordings are the best of what my Ring collection has to offer. Karajan is as beautiful as billed. Solti feels not bombastic, simply powerful, and there is still much beauty.

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