View Poll Results: What's your favorite Der Ring des Nibelungen?

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  • Barenboim: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1991 live recording)

    4 6.35%
  • Böhm: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1966/67 live recording)

    4 6.35%
  • Boulez: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1980 live recording)

    1 1.59%
  • Furtwängler: Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome, Italian Radio Chorus Rome (1953 live recording)

    1 1.59%
  • Furtwängler: Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra & Chorus (1950 live recording)

    4 6.35%
  • Goodall: Sadlers Wells Opera Orchestra, English National Opera Chorus (in English)

    2 3.17%
  • Haitink: Bavarian Radio Chorus, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

    0 0%
  • Janowski: Staatskapelle Dresden, Dresden State Opera Chorus

    1 1.59%
  • Karajan: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus

    4 6.35%
  • Keilberth: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1955 live recording)

    12 19.05%
  • Knappertsbusch: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1956 live recording)

    2 3.17%
  • Krauss: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1953 live recording)

    1 1.59%
  • Levine: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus

    0 0%
  • Solti: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna State Opera Chorus

    23 36.51%
  • Other

    4 6.35%
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Thread: Favorite recording of Der Ring des Nibelungen: Poll

  1. #91
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    What is Wagner's music supposed to be if not beautiful?
    "Art is more than beauty." - Maria Callas

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  3. #92
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    {Solti's] Rheingold is constantly sharp and lively, even in more conversational sections.
    The attraction of Solti's Rheingold has always eluded me. His conducting is fine, and the sonics are incredible, but except for Neidlinger's Alberich (which can, of course, be heard on many recordings of the opera), much of the cast leaves a great deal to be desired.

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  5. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    What is Wagner's music supposed to be if not beautiful?
    Erm... Er... music?

    N.

  6. #94
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    Erm... Er... music?

    N.
    Maybe you don’t consider it such!

  7. #95
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    The attraction of Solti's Rheingold has always eluded me. His conducting is fine, and the sonics are incredible, but except for Neidlinger's Alberich (which can, of course, be heard on many recordings of the opera), much of the cast leaves a great deal to be desired.
    You have to remember when it came out in 1958 (I think) it was unopposed and absolutely sensational. Nothing like it had ever been heard in the medium of stereo. Legge’s prophecy of doom, “You won’t sell any!” Was completely wrong. It even netted the Billboard pop charts! To the record buying public of the day there was much to attract them.
    Last edited by DavidA; Nov-21-2019 at 19:43.

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  9. #96
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    The other question was, did EMI sell many Furtwängler Rings from 1972? Not to diminish its strengths, because I have recently experienced them, but was it successful commercially competing against new stereo Rings by Karl Böhm and Herbert von Karajan?

    To what extent was Legge and EMI involved in the recordings of the Rome sessions? Could another orchestra be used instead of the freshmen at RAI? Did they trust enough the health of a 67 yo conductor to focus their project in a studio Ring?

  10. #97
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post
    The other question was, did EMI sell many Furtwängler Rings from 1972? Not to diminish its strengths, because I have recently experienced them, but was it successful commercially competing against new stereo Rings by Karl Böhm and Herbert von Karajan?

    To what extent was Legge and EMI involved in the recordings of the Rome sessions? Could another orchestra be used instead of the freshmen at RAI? Did they trust enough the health of a 67 yo conductor to focus their project in a studio Ring?
    It is known that Furtwangler did not get on with Legge (as he didn’t with many people who made him feel threatened) but EMI did embark on a Ring with the VPO but only got as far as Walkure when Furtwangler died. The Walkure cast is unsatisfactory sadly.

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  12. #98
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post
    The other question was, did EMI sell many Furtwängler Rings from 1972? Not to diminish its strengths, because I have recently experienced them, but was it successful commercially competing against new stereo Rings by Karl Böhm and Herbert von Karajan?
    Probably not, at least not in the USA. I was a regular at Cutler's in New Haven, and worked there now and then. Despite the efforts of the classical manager at the time, historic material didn't sell particularly well. I bought the WF Ring on Seraphim, because it was all I could afford as a high school student, but it wasn't something that the store moved with any frequency compared to the Solti and Karajan cycles. At least in the USA, Furtwangler didn't sell - if he had, Angel would have issued his recordings at full price, not on their budget line.

    It's also worth considering that worship (and I do not use that terms pejoratively) of Furtwangler is to a great degree a modern phenomenon, helped immensely by the Internet and the proliferation of easily obtainable historic labels. Back in the early 70's, there were not very many Furtwangler performances available, and those that were issued were often in execrable sound. The Scala cycle was, IIRC, first issued by Murray Hill in the late 1970's, and sounded really dreadful, often pitched sharp to squeeze more music onto the LP sides.
    Last edited by wkasimer; Nov-21-2019 at 21:56.

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  14. #99
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    The attraction of Solti's Rheingold has always eluded me. His conducting is fine, and the sonics are incredible, but except for Neidlinger's Alberich (which can, of course, be heard on many recordings of the opera), much of the cast leaves a great deal to be desired.
    Which singers do you think leave a lot to be desired? I admit it's been a number of years since I last listened, but I never found anyone seriously deficient. Back in the LP days, when there were only two Rings available, I definitely preferred Solti's cast to Karajan's, which in my judgment better deserves your criticism. My conceptions of the characters of, say, Wotan and Loge are satisfied much better by the voices of George London and Set Svanholm than by those of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Gerhard Stolze. Neidlinger is unmatched as Alberich, Flagstad sounds like a goddess, and no one else strikes me as inadequate.

  15. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Maybe you don’t consider it such!
    No, you misunderstand.

    Maybe Wagner's music is just supposed to be music!

    N.

  16. #101
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Which singers do you think leave a lot to be desired?
    Almost all of them. I've never been a fan of London's rather throaty, often out-of-tune singing, and Flagstad sounds matronly - she and Wotan are supposed to be young in Rheingold. Svanholm's dry voice is also not to my taste in this role, and the two giants are no match for those on other recordings. Waechter's a great Donner, though.

    Back in the LP days, when there were only two Rings available, I definitely preferred Solti's cast to Karajan's, which in my judgment better deserves your criticism.
    I much prefer Karajan's cast. Fischer-Dieskau is admittedly a liability much of the time, but as I note above, I don't like London any better. Stolze's light and flexible voice is better suited to Loge's part than Svanholm's. Kelemen is very different from Neidlinger, but he fits well with Karajan's lighter textures. And Karajan's Rhinemaidens, Mime, and giants are vastly superior to Solti's.

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  18. #102
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    Almost all of them. I've never been a fan of London's rather throaty, often out-of-tune singing, and Flagstad sounds matronly - she and Wotan are supposed to be young in Rheingold. Svanholm's dry voice is also not to my taste in this role, and the two giants are no match for those on other recordings. Waechter's a great Donner, though.



    I much prefer Karajan's cast. Fischer-Dieskau is admittedly a liability much of the time, but as I note above, I don't like London any better. Stolze's light and flexible voice is better suited to Loge's part than Svanholm's. Kelemen is very different from Neidlinger, but he fits well with Karajan's lighter textures. And Karajan's Rhinemaidens, Mime, and giants are vastly superior to Solti's.
    Matters of taste, I guess. DFD and Stolze just rule out the recording completely for me, the former mannered from the very beginning and vocally totally wrong, and the latter intolerable in anything but extreme character parts (I can accept him as Mime, just). I don't like Karajan either. I was checking out the Donner thunderstorm, and Karajan's conducting of it has no internal energy; it just sits there, careful, controlled and static. I find Karajan's stereo Wagner recordings often self-conscious and calculated - cultivated, sensuous sounds that seem more a facsimile of music than the real thing, rather like airbrushed photographs.

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  20. #103
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    No, you misunderstand.

    Maybe Wagner's music is just supposed to be music!

    N.

    And not beautiful? Interesting!

  21. #104
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    Almost all of them. I've never been a fan of London's rather throaty, often out-of-tune singing, and Flagstad sounds matronly - she and Wotan are supposed to be young in Rheingold. Svanholm's dry voice is also not to my taste in this role, and the two giants are no match for those on other recordings. Waechter's a great Donner, though.



    I much prefer Karajan's cast. Fischer-Dieskau is admittedly a liability much of the time, but as I note above, I don't like London any better. Stolze's light and flexible voice is better suited to Loge's part than Svanholm's. Kelemen is very different from Neidlinger, but he fits well with Karajan's lighter textures. And Karajan's Rhinemaidens, Mime, and giants are vastly superior to Solti's.
    It is interesting that the time of the Solti was made EMI brought out a disc of excerpts og Rheingold under Kempe which was very well received, It off at the far more lyrical approach probably far more in the HvK mould. One sometimes wonders whether it was intended to be a ring which never happened.

    Apart from the casts , I do much prefer Karajan’s conducting to Solti’s in the Ring, I know Many find Solti tremendously exciting (which he has is) but Karajan’s approach seems to bring out the more lyrical side of Wagner. Of course it’s all a matter of preferences but that is mine
    Last edited by DavidA; Nov-22-2019 at 08:16.

  22. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    And not beautiful? Interesting!
    I have not said that Wagner's music isn't or shouldn't be beautiful. I don't think it is supposed to be anything other than what Wagner wrote (although that's not a straightforward matter as he sanctioned cuts and there are different versions of his works). If a particular individual finds some or all of his music 'beautiful' that's another issue entirely.

    Personally I find Karajan's act one of Walkure rather ugly due to the disfiguring way that the music proceeds in little cells of sound in his version. Even if I did think it is supposed to be beautiful, Karajan doesn't make it beautiful for me. So it's a rather useless consideration, the one of beauty.

    Is the music written in connection with Hagen beautiful? Is it supposed to be?

    N.

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