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Thread: Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Default Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

    The Ring is one of the monuments of human art. Wikipedia has a good article about it, and I will post links to some other articles in the posts below. I will also post links to other talkclassical threads about it.

    Meanwhile --

    How do you feel about The Ring? Do you love it? What does it mean to you?

    Feel free to recommend favorite recordings as well. (I've only ever heard the Solti!)
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Love it. For me the finest opera(s) ever, and one of the best achievements in classical music overall.

    I was introduced to the ring by the box of Solti recordings on Decca (a gift from my father in the 90s), and that remains my favourite. I also got the English version by Goodall on Chandos, as it was dirt cheap - but I would not recommend it.

    I try to listen to the whole cycle once a year.
    Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen! Ewig ... ewig ...

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    The Ring it totally awesome from beginning to end. I love it. I don't listen enough because it takes such an extreme time commitment but that is not to say I don't care for its length, because I do like its length and, in fact, love the Goodall set because it is even longer!
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    I also got the English version by Goodall on Chandos, as it was dirt cheap - but I would not recommend it.
    I certainly would. Not only is it in my native tongue, but some of the singing by the principals (particularly Hunter, Remedios, and Bailey) isn't really matched elsewhere in the Ring discography.

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Love it. For me the finest opera(s) ever, and one of the best achievements in classical music overall.

    I was introduced to the ring by the box of Solti recordings on Decca (a gift from my father in the 90s), and that remains my favourite. I also got the English version by Goodall on Chandos, as it was dirt cheap - but I would not recommend it.

    I try to listen to the whole cycle once a year.
    That is a great find, Goodall's Ring dirt cheap. I am sure many would love to find such a deal. Perhaps someday it will grow on you.
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    It's incredible. I am blown away every time I listen to it and have been
    listening to it for 30 years.
    The scope, majesty, beauty and musical complexity still dazzle.
    It's amazing how Wagner was able to create a revolutionary work
    that can still appeal to the ordinary person.

    My favorite recordings at the present time include.

    Solti Decca
    Keilberth 1955 Testament
    Knappertsbusch '57 and '58 Walhall

    And yes, I love it.
    Last edited by Itullian; Jul-22-2018 at 23:37.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    shirime
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    Keilberth 55, Böhm, Boulez, Janowski (2nd one) and Young are my favourites on CD.

    Since 2013, Melbourne has started a Wagner craze and I think the plan is to put on a production of the Ring every three years. I went in 2016 and saw a great production by Neil Armfield that examined the Ring for its theatrical tropes amongst other things.




    I was particularly impressed with Fafner in Siegfried as a gigantic head with makeup smeared all over his face, but revealing himself after being stabbed vulnerable, naked and in human form for his final words before death.

    Walküre was good too, a claustrophobic hut in the first act gave a real feeling of all three characters being in uncomfortable proximity to each other but propelled the developing love between Siegmund and Sieglinde. The huge spiral ramp in act 2 played out in an interesting way as the characters had or felt they had more power or control they were higher up, entering from above the stage or at stage level.

    Of course, the famous Jahrhundertring is still the best out there on DVD, wish I got to see it live. There's a DVD of a production from Copenhagen that I like a lot as well. The Kupfer ring ain't bad either.
    Last edited by shirime; Jul-22-2018 at 23:33.

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    I am not an opera aficionado, but I always find the portrayal of human nature in the Ring fascinating.

    From time to time I would put on Act 2 of Die Walküre, and what happened with Wotan never fails to intrigue me.

    From his cunning plan which was never going to work, to how Fricka's righteousness backed him into a corner, to his confession that led Brünnhilde to defy his instructions and to go with what his heart wanted, and at the end he had to break Siegmund's sword by himself against his own wishes. Was that the moment when he gave up the fight? Fascinating.
    Last edited by Kiki; Aug-25-2018 at 09:55.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirime View Post
    Keilberth 55, Böhm, Boulez, Janowski (2nd one) and Young are my favourites on CD.

    Since 2013, Melbourne has started a Wagner craze and I think the plan is to put on a production of the Ring every three years. I went in 2016 and saw a great production by Neil Armfield that examined the Ring for its theatrical tropes amongst other things.




    I was particularly impressed with Fafner in Siegfried as a gigantic head with makeup smeared all over his face, but revealing himself after being stabbed vulnerable, naked and in human form for his final words before death.

    Walküre was good too, a claustrophobic hut in the first act gave a real feeling of all three characters being in uncomfortable proximity to each other but propelled the developing love between Siegmund and Sieglinde. The huge spiral ramp in act 2 played out in an interesting way as the characters had or felt they had more power or control they were higher up, entering from above the stage or at stage level.

    Of course, the famous Jahrhundertring is still the best out there on DVD, wish I got to see it live. There's a DVD of a production from Copenhagen that I like a lot as well. The Kupfer ring ain't bad either.
    The Australian Ring looks interesting. It did look as thought they were trying to fulfil Wagner's intentions. Loved the gold and the rainbow bridge. Imaginative
    Last edited by DavidA; Aug-25-2018 at 10:25.

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    Always thought the Cherau was a good production as he actually had actors who looked the part on stage even if the stage directions were sometimes a little offbeat. This is good with hoffmann and Altmeyer


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    A few of the best 'Ring' related books:

    Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung: A Companion. Probably the best in-print English translation of the full text, also including critical essays.

    The Wagner Operas by Ernest Newman. Excellent source of fundamental background information on all of Wagner's mature operas, including the Ring.

    Wagner's Ring: Turning the Sky Round by M. Owen Lee. Concise background information and synopses taken from Lee's radio lectures.

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    So, it appears that poor Loge is condemned to the mountain top too. I just realized that the ring of fire around Brunnhilde is actually Loge himself. And he stays there to the very end of the last opera or for the duration of two operas. Poor guy.
    Last edited by SixFootScowl; Oct-05-2019 at 02:22.
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    So, it appears that poor Loge is condemned to the mountain top too.
    good, he had it coming, although he appears there only in a form of his leitmotif.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    So, it appears that poor Loge is condemned to the mountain top too. I just realized that the ring of fire around Brunnhilde is actually Loge himself. And he stays there to the very end of the last opera or for the duration of two operas. Poor guy.
    In the last scene of Gotterdammerung Brunnhilde instructs Wotan's ravens to fly to the mountain top and send Loge to Walhall where the gods await their end. Since Loge is fire and is technically not a god but an elemental spirit (just as the Rhine daughters are spirits of water), we can probably assume that it's he who destroys the gods. It adds an extra ironic twist to his last remarks about them in Das Rheingold.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Oct-05-2019 at 07:46.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    In the last scene of Gotterdammerung Brunnhilde instructs Wotan's ravens to fly to the mountain top and send Loge to Walhall where the gods await their end. Since Loge is fire and is technically not a god but an elemental spirit (just as the Rhine daughters are spirits of water), we can probably assume that it's he who destroys the gods. It adds an extra ironic twist to his last remarks about them in Das Rheingold.
    Yes, it was on my second set of DVDs that I picked that up. I watched a whole set a couple years ago and read the Goodall libretto in a book. In the past month I have watched my second Ring on DVD and am amazed at how much I either missed or forgot. I am glad I have three more Rings on DVD so I can even better understand this great operatic masterpiece. Currently watching Walkure conducted by Haenchen.

    Loge, by the way, is one of my favorite characters.
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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