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Thread: Bohm Ring

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountmccabe View Post
    Das Rheingold would be my pick. I think what we have on CD gets increasingly worse as the cycle goes on.
    In what way? Sound wise? Singing wise?
    "...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
    In what way? Sound wise? Singing wise?
    My statement was probably a little harsh. I think it's a very good to great set. I like it far more than the Solti or the Karajan, if we're looking at those big 60s Rings.

    I like Die Walküre, but little stood out for me. In Siegfried I really like Wohlfahrt, and Windgassen (in the first act), but I don't like those two voices matched with Adam. Then the finale feels sloppy and without energy. And I think it's the editing that really hurts Götterdämmerung and kills the flow of the music.

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountmccabe View Post
    My statement was probably a little harsh. I think it's a very good to great set. I like it far more than the Solti or the Karajan, if we're looking at those big 60s Rings.

    I like Die Walküre, but little stood out for me. In Siegfried I really like Wohlfahrt, and Windgassen (in the first act), but I don't like those two voices matched with Adam. Then the finale feels sloppy and without energy. And I think it's the editing that really hurts Götterdämmerung and kills the flow of the music.
    It's such a long time since I last heard the officially released Böhm Ring cycle that I can't disagree. That coupled with the fact that it's not a proper complete cycle played over four days would suggest that you may have a point about the Götterdämmerung. I may, when I have the time, listen to the '65 Ring with Böhm which is a proper integrated cycle, unedited, warts and all and report back. The dates for anyone that cares are 25, 26, 28 and 30 July 1965. I won't embarrass anyone by saying which opera goes with which date!
    Last edited by Barbebleu; May-03-2019 at 23:20.
    "...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 Sonata's Avatar
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    Thank you for your thoughts! My update: I went with Walkure based on comments here. I listened to the first act and fifteen minutes of the second my impression was favorable...but not favorable enough to continue.

    Wagner has always been a tough nut to crack, and I think I'm happy with the versions I've already found. I wasn't disappointed in Bohm, but I neither was I compelled to continue. I already have Karajan, Goodall, Barenboim, and like Solti to boot. I am weary of digging in to new recordings and am going to intstead really get to know these ones.

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    As an afterthought, both the '65 and '66 Götterdämmerungs have the bonkers Gutrune cut in Act 3 , Scene 3 that Wieland Wagner and Böhm both inexplicably sanctioned. I would have sanctioned the two of them for that crime!
    "...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 DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    As an afterthought, both the '65 and '66 Götterdämmerungs have the bonkers Gutrune cut in Act 3 , Scene 3 that Wieland Wagner and Böhm both inexplicably sanctioned. I would have sanctioned the two of them for that crime!
    He cut it because he could see no point in it, according to John Culshaw

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Yeas, Culshaw. Not the most reliable of commentators as far as I'm concerned. He may well be right but if that's the criterion being applied then what's the point of anything really? If I was to make cuts that I didn't see the point of then we would have a fairly short list of things to watch! Absolutely nonsensical cut imho.
    Last edited by Barbebleu; May-08-2019 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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  13. #23
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    Yeas, Culshaw. Not the most reliable of commentators as far as I'm concerned. He may well be right but if that's the criterion being applied then what's the point of anything really? If I was to make cuts that I didn't see the point of then we would have a fairly short list of things to watch! Absolutely nonsensical cut imho.
    Well, at least Culshaw was more likely to know what was going on than us. He actually blamed Bohm for allowing it.
    Last edited by DavidA; May-08-2019 at 17:10.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    As an afterthought, both the '65 and '66 Götterdämmerungs have the bonkers Gutrune cut in Act 3 , Scene 3 that Wieland Wagner and Böhm both inexplicably sanctioned. I would have sanctioned the two of them for that crime!
    From the time I first became acquainted with the Ring, that little scene was a favorite moment. It's the only time we see Gutrune as a person alone with her thoughts, and the ominous lull between the powerful funeral music and the violent quarrel to come is masterfully calculated. I find it inexplicable that Wieland Wagner wouldn't have felt this, or at least trusted his grandpa to know his business.

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    From the time I first became acquainted with the Ring, that little scene was a favorite moment. It's the only time we see Gutrune as a person alone with her thoughts, and the ominous lull between the powerful funeral music and the violent quarrel to come is masterfully calculated. I find it inexplicable that Wieland Wagner wouldn't have felt this, or at least trusted his grandpa to know his business.
    Yep. A moment of repose between what has just happened and what's about to happen! Outstanding dramatic placing.
    "...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 SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Just listened to the Bohm Ring and like it a lot. I was not as excited with Hundig's voice. It didn't seem to have as ominous a feeling that I get from other recordings. I also felt Gotterdammerung was not as good as the other three operas. Now I find in this thread that it has cuts too.

    So, there seem to be several different packagings of this cycle. Are any better in sound or are they all about the same?
    “The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent look guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the mind of the masses.”
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  20. #27
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    There aren’t any cuts in the commercially-released Böhm Ring. Earlier in the run of this production, Wieland Wagner had made the decision to cut the short scene for Gutrune in Act 3, but it was reinstated by the time these particular recordings were made.

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    I think I listened to the Böhm Ring once. I much prefer the sound of the Vienna Philharmonic on the Solti, which is my favorite anyway. Though I like the tempi Böhm chooses in some instances, I think he misses the majestic quality that some of the passages have with Solti whom I think has everything right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    So, there seem to be several different packagings of this cycle. Are any better in sound or are they all about the same?
    This is only a limited answer, but I happen to have two CD transfers of this cycle: the very first CD release (Decca, early 1980s) and the reissue in the box Wagner: The Great Operas from the Bayreuth Festival (Philips, 2008). I've just sampled some passages, and to me they sound absolutely identical--exactly the same transfer levels, exactly the same timbres, exactly the same track breaks, exactly the same disc breaks (not always in the obvious places!), everything. And since the set's sound quality has generally been praised, I doubt whether it would be high on the company's list for remastering (though one never knows!).

    One thing that struck me afresh, listening again, was how beautifully the recording engineers captured the unique acoustics of the Bayreuth hall. More recent Bayreuth Ring recordings have no doubt used superior microphones etc, but I'm not sure whether any of them has placed those microphones as effectively. One doesn't hear the building's acoustics so clearly.

    To me, this is one of the most valuable of recorded Ring cycles, precisely because it approaches the music from quite a different angle. Other conductors on record have paced the Ring almost (not quite!) as fast as this, but I don't feel that any of the others has given the music as much time to breathe at high speed. (I believe, for instance, that Boulez admitted in later life that his Bayreuth recordings had been "too rigid.") Somehow Böhm manages to combine pace with flexibility. (His mentor Richard Strauss instructed him to conduct his operas "as if they were operetta." I suspect Böhm applied that rule to Wagner as well--and Berg, for that matter.) It isn't the only way to play this music, but it's alive and different, and forces one to hear the work with fresh ears.

    Wagner himself is said to have complained that most conductors took his music too slowly. I have no idea what he meant by that, but I wonder whether he wanted something like this--something not quite so solemn, lighter on its feet, perhaps even more dance-like.
    Last edited by gvn; Sep-22-2021 at 08:53.

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvn View Post
    Wagner himself is said to have complained that most conductors took his music too slowly. I have no idea what he meant by that, but I wonder whether he wanted something like this--something not quite so solemn, lighter on its feet, perhaps even more dance-like.
    Hmmm, what would he think of the Goodall Ring.
    “The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent look guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the mind of the masses.”
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