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

  1. #181
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    For an interesting and slightly unusual performance of Rheingold...

    Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Simon Rattle (2004)
    Sir Willard White - Wotan
    Oleg Bryjak - Alberich
    Kim Begley - Loge
    Yvonne Naef - Fricka
    Robbin Leggate - Mime
    Geraldine McGreevy - Freia
    Anna Larsson - Erda
    James Rutherford - Donner
    Timothy Robinson - Froh
    Peter Rose - Fasolt
    Robert Lloyd - Fafner
    Kate Royal - Woglinde
    Karen England - Wellgunde
    Christine Rice - Flosshilde

    Yes ... HIP Wagner!

    Attempts at "authentic performance practice" need to justify themselves musically. To my ear, the use of (I presume) 19th-century-style instruments and, seemingly, less string vibrato do nothing to improve the effectiveness of the work and so make this is a non-event. The level of singing makes it even less of an event. I've probably never heard so much declaiming and ranting in pursuit of "drama"; Rheingold has more recitative-like passages than the subsequent Ring operas, and its too easy simply to talk and shout on pitch. But given that the voices here aren't very distinguished to begin with, I guess it doesn't matter. I got through an hour of this, and it became more and more just a background to housework.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Aug-29-2021 at 05:05.

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  3. #182
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Attempts at "authentic performance practice" need to justify themselves musically. To my ear, the use of (I presume) 19th-century-style instruments and, seemingly, less string vibrato do nothing to improve the effectiveness of the work and so make this is a non-event. The level of singing makes it even less of an event. I've probably never heard so much declaiming and ranting in pursuit of "drama"; Rheingold has more recitative-like passages than the subsequent Ring operas, and its too easy simply to talk and shout on pitch. But given that the voices here aren't very distinguished to begin with, I guess it doesn't matter. I got through an hour of this, and it became more and more just a background to housework.
    My feeling about the back to “original instruments” are unambiguous: I detest them!; coupled with a feeling that composers would vastly prefer modern instruments if the could’ve had them. Anyway, I stay away from recordings that use them. I heard some Mozart on original instruments once in a compilation - so ugly!
    Last edited by MAS; Aug-31-2021 at 19:29.

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  5. #183
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    My feeling about the back to “original instruments” are unambiguous: I detest them!; coupled with a feeling that composers would vastly prefer modern instruments if the could’ve had them. Anyway, I stay away from recordings that use them. I heard some Mozart on original instruments once in a compilation - so ugly!
    For me it depends on the the repertoire, as well as the execution. I like Baroque on period instruments if they're well played; there's a gain in clarity, transparency and color. They do nothing for late Romantic music, especially Wagner. There's very little difference from modern instruments by then anyway.

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  7. #184
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Attempts at "authentic performance practice" need to justify themselves musically. To my ear, the use of (I presume) 19th-century-style instruments and, seemingly, less string vibrato do nothing to improve the effectiveness of the work and so make this is a non-event. The level of singing makes it even less of an event. I've probably never heard so much declaiming and ranting in pursuit of "drama"; Rheingold has more recitative-like passages than the subsequent Ring operas, and its too easy simply to talk and shout on pitch. But given that the voices here aren't very distinguished to begin with, I guess it doesn't matter. I got through an hour of this, and it became more and more just a background to housework.
    I guess I should be thankful that I don't understand this because I am enjoying the performance. In some ways musical ignorance can be a plus.
    “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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  9. #185
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    I guess I should be thankful that I don't understand this because I am enjoying the performance. In some ways musical ignorance can be a plus.
    Or to put it in a common saying, "Ignorance is bliss!"
    “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

  10. #186
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Attempts at "authentic performance practice" need to justify themselves musically. To my ear, the use of (I presume) 19th-century-style instruments and, seemingly, less string vibrato do nothing to improve the effectiveness of the work and so make this is a non-event. The level of singing makes it even less of an event. I've probably never heard so much declaiming and ranting in pursuit of "drama"; Rheingold has more recitative-like passages than the subsequent Ring operas, and its too easy simply to talk and shout on pitch. But given that the voices here aren't very distinguished to begin with, I guess it doesn't matter. I got through an hour of this, and it became more and more just a background to housework.
    I am usually positive about 19th century music, especially orchestral music, performed with period instruments and HIP. I am glad to know about this and am interested in hearing this clip.

    Any lingering doubts Simon Rattle might have entertained about performing Das Rheingold with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment must have been quickly dispelled by the ecstatic shout of joy that greeted its closing bars. This, the first in the BBC Proms' Ring cycle project, was an undoubted triumph. (The Guardian)
    I expect I will agree after listening to it.

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    So i just ran across a curiosity about the Barenboim Ring. Patrick Waller says,
    these [Barenboim Ring recordings] are not live performances in the sense that an audience was not present.
    http://www.musicweb-international.co...2564623172.htm

    Rather odd they would do a full performance like that and not have an audience.
    “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

  12. #188
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    So i just ran across a curiosity about the Barenboim Ring. Patrick Waller says,

    http://www.musicweb-international.co...2564623172.htm

    Rather odd they would do a full performance like that and not have an audience.
    That's true. They did it for the dvd set. and cds.
    Same as the Boulez iirc
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

    "Man does not live by bread alone......"

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  14. #189
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    That's true. They did it for the dvd set. and cds.
    Same as the Boulez iirc
    Well I suppose there is some advantage if they are doing it only for the cameras and don't have to be concerned with what an audience may see or not see if blocked by a camera.
    “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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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    Well I suppose there is some advantage if they are doing it only for the cameras and don't have to be concerned with what an audience may see or not see if blocked by a camera.
    I guess they think it's worth it.
    I prefer live dvds myself.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

    "Man does not live by bread alone......"

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  17. #191
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    There is nothing unusual about doing a complete, uninterrupted run-through of a staged opera prior to opening night, particularly for a work as complicated as the Ring. It is the final rehearsal with all staging lighting, costumes, etc. to make sure that everything is as planned. Using that as an opportunity to record/film the production makes perfect sense.
    Last edited by Becca; Oct-05-2021 at 03:59.

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    There is nothing unusual about doing a complete, uninterrupted run-through of a staged opera prior to opening night, particularly for a work as complicated as the Ring. It is the final rehearsal with all staging lighting, costumes, etc. to make sure that everything is as planned. Using that as an opportunity to record/film the production makes perfect sense.
    And so one then wonders why they would go to the trouble of a separate recording session such as the Levine Ring on CD vs live on DVD. I am assuming the Levine CDs were not taken from the live performance or rehearsals, especially given there is a different singer for Siegfried.
    “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

  20. #193
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Because the CDs were a studio recording done in 87/88 and the DVD is from live performances 2 years later.

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  22. #194
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    There is nothing unusual about doing a complete, uninterrupted run-through of a staged opera prior to opening night, particularly for a work as complicated as the Ring. It is the final rehearsal with all staging lighting, costumes, etc. to make sure that everything is as planned. Using that as an opportunity to record/film the production makes perfect sense.
    I believe that most or all of the 1966 Tristan from Bayreuth was recorded at rehearsals, which would explain the absence of audience noise.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Oct-05-2021 at 04:58.

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