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

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48. You may not vote on this poll
  • Barenboim: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1991 live recording)

    2 4.17%
  • Böhm: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1966/67 live recording)

    2 4.17%
  • Boulez: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1980 live recording)

    0 0%
  • Furtwängler: Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome, Italian Radio Chorus Rome (1953 live recording)

    1 2.08%
  • Furtwängler: Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra & Chorus (1950 live recording)

    4 8.33%
  • Goodall: Sadlers Wells Opera Orchestra, English National Opera Chorus (in English)

    2 4.17%
  • Haitink: Bavarian Radio Chorus, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

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

    0 0%
  • Karajan: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus

    3 6.25%
  • Keilberth: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1955 live recording)

    11 22.92%
  • Knappertsbusch: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1956 live recording)

    1 2.08%
  • Krauss: Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Orchestra (1953 live recording)

    1 2.08%
  • Levine: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus

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

    19 39.58%
  • Other

    2 4.17%
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Thread: Favorite recording of Der Ring des Nibelungen: Poll

  1. #1
    Senior Member WildThing's Avatar
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    Default Favorite recording of Der Ring des Nibelungen: Poll

    How times have changed huh!? 50+ years ago there wasn't even one complete Ring cycle recording available, and now there are too many to count! I have a feeling this poll will have the largest number of votes for "other"...I tried to get all the big 'uns on the list, but I simply don't have enough room to cover them all! I suspect Solti will come out on top, but this one has me intrigued to see how the results pan out.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member cheftimmyr's Avatar
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    This should be interesting... on overall sound quality, cast and execution I'm hard pressed to find an alternative to Keilberth's 1955 Testament release. Right below I would have the Krauss and Furty (1950), both Pristine releases, then the Bohm and Knap (57). Other that deserve mentions are Keilberth 52 & 53, as well as the Kempe '60...

    As a side note, my experience with Haitnik's was not a good one for many reasons, but chief among them Eva Marton's "Brunnhilde" was, for me, abysmal.

    So many greats to choose from!
    Last edited by cheftimmyr; Mar-26-2017 at 15:34.

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  5. #3
    Senior Member Faustian's Avatar
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    There are so many individual performances from numerous Ring cycles that I would never want to be deprived of, but I agree with chefti that for overall balance of sound and interpretation the 1955 Keilberth Bayreuth set takes the cake. All the chief singers are great artists. Hans Hotter commands the role of Wotan as no one ever has, and rises to all the great climaxes with astonishing steadiness and power. Wolfgang Windgassen, all told probably the most sympathetic and tireless of post-war Siegfrieds, is unstinting in this killing role, and at crucial moments truly heroic. It seems Keilberth was generally thought of as a somewhat sub-par conductor when he was alive, but his reputation has deservedly risen, and now listening to his conducting it makes one wonder why he wasn't always more highly regarded. Here he shows a consummate sense of timing and a wonderful flair for the dramatic. And I think it's worth getting the alternative Walküre and Götterdämmerung with Martha Mödl as Brünnhilde to hear the contrast between her and Astrid Varnay's awesome portrayal. There are several cast overlaps with the famous Solti recording obviously, though in my opinion Keilberth's interpretation is far better on the whole, and the singers are also in better voice.

    Now if we were to pick out favorite recordings of each individual segment to make a dream Ring, that would be interesting. Just impulsively, maybe Solti's Rheingold, Leinsdorf's Walküre with Nilsson and Vickers, Keilberth's 1955 Siegfried and Furtwängler's 1950 La Scala Götterdämmerung?

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  7. #4
    Senior Member gardibolt's Avatar
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    So many choices....and you asked for "favorite," which is not necessarily the one you think is "best." I voted for Furtwängler 1950 since right now if I could only keep one Ring it would be that one. But it's probably not what I consider the "best." That's probably Keilberth 1955 for best combination of singers - orchestra - conductor - sound quality, though Solti's studio version is also in the running for both titles.

    I like Faustian's Dream Ring a lot.
    Hours of unrecorded, unpublished and unknown Beethoven works at The Unheard Beethoven

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  9. #5
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    I haven't heard the Keilberth Ring so can't comment on the younger Windgassen but having heard Alberto Remedios both live and in recording, I feel that he deserves recognition as one of the really good Siegrieds.

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  11. #6
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faustian View Post
    There are so many individual performances from numerous Ring cycles that I would never want to be deprived of, but I agree with chefti that for overall balance of sound and interpretation the 1955 Keilberth Bayreuth set takes the cake. All the chief singers are great artists. Hans Hotter commands the role of Wotan as no one ever has, and rises to all the great climaxes with astonishing steadiness and power. Wolfgang Windgassen, all told probably the most sympathetic and tireless of post-war Siegfrieds, is unstinting in this killing role, and at crucial moments truly heroic.
    WT is correct among the general public Solti would win by a landslide but among the forum members here I suspect the 55 Keilberth will be recognized as the reference during modern Bayreuth era (post 51) I want to emphasize the point made by Faustian that not only are these technically great singers they are also the best "singing actors" able to harness the voice to paint vivid characterizations that make the performances come to life, Hotter and Varnay bring such realistic humanity to their characters it is just magical and worthy of great admiration.........

    Speaking of Astrid I think her great legacy is becoming much more fully appreciated now (HFT and duck roll their eyes) with all these very good sound quality 1950s Rings being released by Walhall and Myto and now cheaply available to the public for discovery, to sing the prima wagner role of brunnhilde on the greatest wagner stage of Bayreuth for the entire 1950s decade when vocal giants walked the stage is a testament to this fine artist......
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Mar-26-2017 at 17:49.

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  13. #7
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Everyone knows that Testament have a Walküre and a Götterdämmerung from the second cycle of Keilberth's '55 Ring. They are however quite expensive. But what you may not know is that Walhall have the Walküre at a more reasonable price. I only noticed this when I was looking at the back cover on Amazon and it showed Varnay as Sieglinde and Mödl as Brünnhilde, thus revealing it as second cycle! And to my own personal delight I already had it! Yay! Btw I voted for other - Knappertsbusch '58.
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  15. #8
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    I have not been listening long enough to have formed a favorite. I have four of the Rings in the poll. So far of the eight Rings I own, I have only listened twice to each one, except only once for Janowski.

    These are my favorites so far: Goodall Ring, Sawallisch Ring, Swarowsky Ring, Levine Ring

    I also have these: Solti Ring, Krauss Ring, Janowski Ring, Neuhold Ring

    The Swarowaky Ring is quite wonderful. And may even take precedence over my two Behrens as Brunnhilde Rings (Levine and Sawallisch). So then the problem would remain do I pick Goodall over an sung-in-German recording?

    Nice to see someone already has picked Goodall. Maybe I will listen to that one next. Someday I hope to have settled on a favorite so I can vote.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  16. #9
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Unsurprisingly, I picked the 1950 Furtwangler La Scala Ring. The only other Ring that I think is close is Bohm/Bayreuth.

    If we went opera by opera, I would pick the 1955 Keilberth for Das Rheingold, Bohm for Die Walkure and Siegfried, and Furtwangler/Scala for the Gotterdammerung.

  17. #10
    Senior Member WildThing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    Btw I voted for other - Knappertsbusch '58.
    You forgot to vote, I don't see any votes for other.

  18. #11
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    Solti: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna State Opera Chorus.
    Still stands in a 100 years from now.

  19. #12
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildThing View Post
    You forgot to vote, I don't see any votes for other.
    Consider it remedied.
    Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate!

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  21. #13
    Senior Member jflatter's Avatar
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    This is difficult. I now have the Pristine Krauss set and the 55 Keilberth Recording. I think Krauss is great but the Keilberth just beats it.

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  23. #14
    Senior Member jflatter's Avatar
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    One thing I would add is that Solti's Ring is now a little out of fashion. Whilst on the whole I am not Solti's greatest fan and his Ring isn't perfect, it introduced me and many others to the wonderful world of the music of Wagner. That is something I'll always be grateful for.

    I wish Thielemann could do a Ring with top class singers. That would be a set worth waiting for as his live recordings are poorly casted on the whole.

  24. #15
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jflatter View Post
    One thing I would add is that Solti's Ring is now a little out of fashion. Whilst on the whole I am not Solti's greatest fan and his Ring isn't perfect, it introduced me and many others to the wonderful world of the music of Wagner. That is something I'll always be grateful for.

    I wish Thielemann could do a Ring with top class singers. That would be a set worth waiting for as his live recordings are poorly casted on the whole.
    With whom is Solti's Ring out of fashion?

    I agree about Thielemann though. Fat chance of that happening with the dearth of top class Wagnerian singers in the opera world today. Now where did I leave that time machine?
    Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate!

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