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

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post
    So I have the Barenboim and I'm really enjoying it.(Well beginning of Siegfried isn't great). But I still think Karajan is on my Christmas wish list
    Told you!

    N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    What is?.......................
    Solti's Ring recording

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    Solti's Ring recording
    Sonata said besides Solti though.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Sonata said besides Solti though.
    It was me replying to your comment about the sound my friend

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    To me Karajan produces a better sound than Solti. Not so aggressive

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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post

    I do agree that Karajan's cycle is better than the Solti
    Not better, but different and a less hectic approach certainly. Music is a very subjective and emotive subject so I, personally, would hesitate to say any Ring Cycle was "better" than any other. There is much to be enjoyed in every interpretation.
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

    ‘When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!‘

    ‘It will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end!’

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    Not better, but different and a less hectic approach certainly. Music is a very subjective and emotive subject so I, personally, would hesitate to say any Ring Cycle was "better" than any other. There is much to be enjoyed in every interpretation.
    I couldn't live without the Solti or Karajan's Rings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    Not better, but different and a less hectic approach certainly. Music is a very subjective and emotive subject so I, personally, would hesitate to say any Ring Cycle was "better" than any other. There is much to be enjoyed in every interpretation.
    Fair enough. I try to state my opinions as preferences, but I do slip up sometimes. Please read my above post to say "I like the Karajan a lot more than the Solti" although it's worth pointing out that there's probably a half dozen recordings I like more than the Karajan too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gellio View Post
    I couldn't live without the Solti or Karajan's Rings.
    Putt, Boulez (DVD) in that to and I am with you all the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    Fair enough. I try to state my opinions as preferences, but I do slip up sometimes. Please read my above post to say "I like the Karajan a lot more than the Solti" although it's worth pointing out that there's probably a half dozen recordings I like more than the Karajan too.
    Couldn't agree more. The Karajan was the second one I ever bought after the Solti, then the Bohm and I wouldn't part with any of them. They all have their delights.
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

    ‘When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!‘

    ‘It will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end!’

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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    Fair enough. I try to state my opinions as preferences, but I do slip up sometimes. Please read my above post to say "I like the Karajan a lot more than the Solti" although it's worth pointing out that there's probably a half dozen recordings I like more than the Karajan too.
    Sorry howling, I didn't meant to come over as all schoolmasterish. I always enjoy your posts which are invariably well balanced and informative. Sometimes things are just better!
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

    ‘When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!‘

    ‘It will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end!’

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    Senior Member gardibolt's Avatar
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    The 1955 Keilberth set is to my mind pretty darned close to perfect, other than the horrifyingly noisy infernal machine in Scene 3 of Rheingold, which besides the absurd Testament price is the only thing that would keep it from being my #1 recommendation. Performances and the sound otherwise are superb on all counts, so if you're skipping Rheingold that'd be the one. 1957 Knappertsbusch is probably second best in terms of performances + sound quality of the eighteen sets I've heard, and it's still available pretty cheaply, and I think that's where I'd go as for the best recorded full Ring Cycle. The notoriously noisy Bayreuth audience is pretty well-behaved on this one as well. Solti's right in the mix, though. If I am listening for pure enjoyment I would either be reaching for 1957 Kna or Solti. Or the Pristine version of the 1950 Furty La Scala, which is quite excellent now that some of the crud has been scraped off.

    As far as Karajan goes I've only heard his Salzburg Ring, which has pretty iffy Opera Depot sound quality. I have his proper DG one in hand and it's the next Ring on my list to check out.
    Last edited by gardibolt; Nov-11-2015 at 17:32.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gardibolt View Post
    The 1955 Keilberth set is to my mind pretty darned close to perfect, other than the horrifyingly noisy infernal machine in Scene 3 of Rheingold, which besides the absurd Testament price is the only thing that would keep it from being my #1 recommendation. Performances and the sound otherwise are superb on all counts, so if you're skipping Rheingold that'd be the one. 1957 Knappertsbusch is probably second best in terms of performances + sound quality of the eighteen sets I've heard, and it's still available pretty cheaply, and I think that's where I'd go as for the best recorded full Ring Cycle. The notoriously noisy Bayreuth audience is pretty well-behaved on this one as well. Solti's right in the mix, though. If I am listening for pure enjoyment I would either be reaching for 1957 Kna or Solti. Or the Pristine version of the 1950 Furty La Scala, which is quite excellent now that some of the crud has been scraped off.

    As far as Karajan goes I've only heard his Salzburg Ring, which has pretty iffy Opera Depot sound quality. I have his proper DG one in hand and it's the next Ring on my list to check out.
    The price is insane. However, I do not even notice the hissing noise of the machine in Scene 3. The amazing singing makes it unnoticeable for me. I had to go back and listen after I heard people complaining about this and still had to really focus to pay attention to it. It is a fantastic set.

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    I have been revisiting the Levine Ring this week. What was I thinking to so quickly dismiss it when I bought it years ago. It is quite wonderful, and certainly superior to Barenboim's set. I am sorry, but I just do not get the love Barenboim gets. As a whole, the singing is only adequate, and to my ear there is no one that is remarkable. The Met plays gorgeously and thrillingly under Levine, and you get one of the best Sieglinde's and Wotan's. Despite the complaints on the Siegfried and Brunnhilde front, they are more than adequate and certainly better than their counterparts on Barenboim.

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    Thanks for your thoughts! The Karajan Walkure is outrageously expensive right now, so maybe next time I get a Ring album, I'll pick up Levine's Walkure. That or maybe I should finally bite the bullet and get Spotify Premium. 10 dollars a month and oh boy that should save me money within a couple of months.

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