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Thread: Wagner opera on disc....Siegfried

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Post Wagner opera on disc....Siegfried

    The third opera of the Ring, or second if you call Rheingold a prelude.
    Wagner took a break from the Ring after Act 2 here to compose a couple of "smaller" operas that could be more easily performed. Meistersinger and Tristan and Isolde !!!

    It is less performed than Walkure, but no less magnificent with the forging of the sword, the interaction between Siegfried and Mime, the dragon fight, the woodbird scenes and Brunhilde's awakening and love duet,

    The role of Siegfried requires great stamina and is one of the most challenging in all of opera.
    I love this opera and listen to it and Rheingold the most
    of the Ring cycle.

    So what is your pick/picks for this magnificent music drama?
    Last edited by Itullian; Oct-16-2017 at 13:04.
    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

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    This is actually my favorite RING opera, so I have a lot of favorites. The title role is key, obviously, and a lot of recordings have been ruined by poor Siegfrieds.

    siegfried sawallisch.jpg

    On balance, probably the best cast, and the sound is excellent. Adam isn't my favorite Wanderer, but Cox is excellent and Wohlfahrt even better than he was for Bohm.

    siegfried goodall.jpg

    It's in English, and even so, not every word is intelligible. But Remedios is the best Siegfried on record since Melchior, and Bailey and Hunter are terrific.

    siegfried keilberth.jpg

    The best of the mid-50's Bayreuth performances, in excellent sound, and Windgassen doesn't screw up the forging scene as he did in 1953. But I hate Paul Kuen's Mime, for all the wrong reasons - he can't seem to sing any of the notes that Wagner actually wrote.

    siegfried jurowski.jpg

    This is the best part of Janowski's RING. I'm not generally a Kollo fan, but this strikes me as his best performance on record, of anything.

    siegfried bodansky.jpg

    Of course, there's no one like Melchior, Flagstad, or Schorr. The sound, though, is a challenge, as are the cuts.

    Others I like are Solti (despite Stolze's caterwauling), Karajan (Stolze's better here, but Jess Thomas struggles a bit with the title role), and Barenboim with Siegfried Jerusalem. I love the first act of Haitink's EMI recording, but the rest is pretty atrocious.

    Jaap van Zweden's recording is coming out soon, so I'll be curious to hear how Simon O'Neill copes with the title role.
    Last edited by wkasimer; Oct-16-2017 at 14:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    This is the best part of Jurowski's RING. I'm not generally a Kollo fan, but this strikes me as his best performance on record, of anything.
    That would have made Jurowski the youngest Ring conductor ever.
    Last edited by interestedin; Oct-16-2017 at 14:09.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by interestedin View Post
    That would have made Jurowski the youngest Ring conductor ever.
    Please note it is Janowski not Jurowski who conducts the Dresden RING
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-16-2017 at 15:00.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Please not eat is Janowski not Jurowski who conducts the Dresden RING
    Oops! I shouldn't post before my first cup of coffee.

    Post above edited.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    I am a bit of a loner in liking Karajan's Siegfried. Jess Thomas sounds younger and less of a fascist youth that some performers. Stoltze is a bit of a pain (was there ever so ungrateful role) so skip to the final duet on the mountain which is radiant.

    Janowski is very good but Altmeyer is a bit stretched .

    Solti's problem is Stoltze and Hotter in Act 1. Painful to listen to
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-16-2017 at 15:03.

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    I am a bit of a loner in liking Karajan's Siegfried. Jess Thomas sounds younger and less of a fascist youth that some performers. Stoltze is a bit of a pain (was there ever so ungrateful role) so skip to the final duet on the mountain which is radiant.

    Janowski is very good but Altmeyer is a bit stretched .

    Solti's problem is Stoltze and Hotter in Act 1. Painful to listen to
    You are not entirely alone DavidA. I like Karajan's Siegfried too. In fact I'm rather fond of Karajan's entire Ring cycle although my preference is for my live version from the Salzburg festival recorded between 1968 and 1970. Karajan in the theatre is a very different creature from the one in the studio. I agree about Jess Thomas but Gerhard Stolze is not the trial to me that he seems to be for others. I rather enjoy his idiosyncratic way with Mime. He is a fabulous Herod in Solti's Salome.
    Last edited by Barbebleu; Oct-16-2017 at 17:05.
    "...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 Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Re post #2 - I totally agree with you about Paul Kuen. He does seem to have a very haphazard approach to singing what's written in the score. Why the conductor lets him get away with it is beyond me.
    Last edited by Barbebleu; Oct-16-2017 at 17:01.
    "...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 wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    I like Karajan's Siegfried too. I agree about Jess Thomas but Gerhard Stolze is not the trial to me that he seems to be for others. I rather enjoy is idiosyncratic way with Mime.
    Stolze's only a problem for me on the Solti recording. IIRC, he was recovering from a serious illness and overacted to compensate for diminished vocal stamina, and Solti didn't rein him in the way that Karajan seems to have.

    He's certainly better than Paul Kuen....

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    Stolze's only a problem for me on the Solti recording. IIRC, he was recovering from a serious illness and overacted to compensate for diminished vocal stamina, and Solti didn't rein him in the way that Karajan seems to have.

    He's certainly better than Paul Kuen....
    I think I might even be better than Paul Kuen, at least with regard to singing what was on the page!
    "...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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    I have to go with Barenboim 1990s with Jerusalem, Tomlinson and Evans.

    N.

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    I love this opera!



    My overall choice is the Solti for the glorious sound and the Vienna Phil.
    Hotter may be past his prime but he's still an imposing Wanderer.
    Stolze is a bit harsh sometimes, but we cant have everything.
    And Nilsson is an excellent Brunhilde. And Windgassen is a heroic Siegfried.
    The WP play like Gods and the sound is still amazing.



    I also enjoy this Barenboim set. Good strong cast. Evans is a little light but good in the part. Tomlinson in good voice.
    The orchestral playing is glorious and the DDD recording is too.
    Last edited by Itullian; Oct-17-2017 at 00:24.
    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

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    Solti for me too.

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post

    Solti for me too.
    I concur with this, though one has to hear Melchior in this role. If one can afford the Pristine remasterings, some miraculous, that’s the way to go.

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    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    UCCP-3242.jpg

    My favorite Brunnhilde, with one of my favorite young Siegfrieds--I like a tenorial Siegfried, especially for this opera, more baritonal Siegfrieds like Melchior may sound more heroic but I don't think they convey the youthful idiocy as well. Wohlfahrt is one of the better Mime's, far better than the likes of Stolze and Kuen. I think Adam's more human dimensions work well for the Wanderer.

    PACO092_530x.jpg

    Svanholm is another great young Siegfried, although caught a little late in his career, and he tires audibly by the end. My second favorite Brunnhilde in Flagstad. For some reason, the Wanderer is Josef Hermann instead of Ferdinand Frantz, who had performed Wotan in the first two operas, and Hermann is pleasant but overparted for the role. The Scala band seems to get better and better each opera, as if they're getting more in sync with Furtwangler throughout this cycle.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; Oct-17-2017 at 22:46.

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