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I just found a bargain price on a near mint copy and ordered it. I don't regret the Solti but I might listen to the Bohm more. The booklet alone is worth the price for the Solti. I could sell it but it is too much trouble on Ebay. It was owned by Kurt Mazur.
Another thing I like about the Bohm is the Waltraute scene with Astrid Varnay in place of Solti's Christa Ludwig. Ludwig was never one of my favorite singers though that may be a minority opinion. I hope you enjoy it!
 

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Another thing I like about the Bohm is the Waltraute scene with Astrid Varnay in place of Solti's Christa Ludwig. Ludwig was never one of my favorite singers though that may be a minority opinion. I hope you enjoy it!
I am one of the few Astrid Varnay enthusiasts here. I am excited to hear them together even though Varnay will be past her prime. I know the sound is good. I posted Nilsson singing her best high C ever in the Siegfried duet and I have 45000 views and lots of amazed listeners. I also now that I think about it heard Nilsson in Gotterdammerung and the biggest I ever heard her sing was in the passages leading up to the Immolation Scene where her voice sounds so dark and full where it usually didn't in recordings.
 

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I am one of the few Astrid Varnay enthusiasts here. I am excited to hear them together even though Varnay will be past her prime. I know the sound is good. I posted Nilsson singing her best high C ever in the Siegfried duet and I have 45000 views and lots of amazed listeners. I also now that I think about it heard Nilsson in Gotterdammerung and the biggest I ever heard her sing was in the passages leading up to the Immolation Scene where her voice sounds so dark and full where it usually didn't in recordings.
I like Varnay too. I mainly know her from the Krauss and Keilberth Rings. Of course she was past her prime in 1967, that's why she was singing a Mezzo role. You might call it a retirement gig.
 

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I like Varnay too. I mainly know her from the Krauss and Keilberth Rings. Of course she was past her prime in 1967, that's why she was singing a Mezzo role. You might call it a retirement gig.
She stayed in harness, European-style, into the 1990's, with Klytemnestra, Herodias, the Kostelnicka, and the inevitable Old Countess in Pique-Dame.

edit: I think that in 1967 she was still a go-to for Elektra.
 

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Varnay was Klytämnestra in Karl Böhm's 1981 video/movie production of Elektra, the last production he conducted before he died. I loved Waltraud Meier's assumption of the role because it makes the character more sympathetic. Klytämnestra isn't some old hag; I think performers should resist the temptation to caricature her. I also highly recommend Culshaw's book (and Solti's memoirs are good too, though he doesn't really talk much about the Decca Ring). Aside from the fact that it's a recording I love, there are just some cool anecdotes in there, such as how they rented eighteen anvils for Das Rheingold or auditioned an alphorn player over the phone for Die Walküre before inviting him to Vienna (and letting a professional trombonist play the alphorn...)
 

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Varnay was Klytämnestra in Karl Böhm's 1981 video/movie production of Elektra, the last production he conducted before he died. I loved Waltraud Meier's assumption of the role because it makes the character more sympathetic. Klytämnestra isn't some old hag; I think performers should resist the temptation to caricature her. I also highly recommend Culshaw's book (and Solti's memoirs are good too, though he doesn't really talk much about the Decca Ring). Aside from the fact that it's a recording I love, there are just some cool anecdotes in there, such as how they rented eighteen anvils for Das Rheingold or auditioned an alphorn player over the phone for Die Walküre before inviting him to Vienna (and letting a professional trombonist play the alphorn...)
Culshaw also wrote a fascinating autobiography called "Setting the Record Straight." Unfortunately he died before completing it. At the time I bought it several years ago it was out of print and there were only two copies on Amazon, so I don't know if it's still available.
 

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Culshaw also wrote a fascinating autobiography called "Setting the Record Straight." Unfortunately he died before completing it. At the time I bought it several years ago it was out of print and there were only two copies on Amazon, so I don't know if it's still available.
I've read that too, but it was a library book so I no longer have it. It's good and has some interesting material from when Culshaw was serving during the Second World War. The Ring is mentioned in footnote references to Ring Resounding, so anyone interested in reading about the Solti Ring would need to get Ring Resounding (Setting the Record Straight won't be of much help there). It covers his life up until shortly before Culshaw left Decca. The collaborations with Britten, particularly with respect to the War Requiem, are especially worth reading about in Setting the Record Straight.
 

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I like Varnay too. I mainly know her from the Krauss and Keilberth Rings. Of course she was past her prime in 1967, that's why she was singing a Mezzo role. You might call it a retirement gig.
I wanted to buy her Knappertbusch Gotter..... but it was too expensive. One day. I love her very distinctive voice which could be so so so dramatic.
 

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I wanted to buy her Keiberth Gotter..... but it was too expensive. One day. I love her very distinctive voice which could be so so so dramatic.
This is the 1955 stereo Bayreuth recording on Testament, right? I can't believe how expensive that cycle is! And I think it used to be even higher. Varnay was also the Brünnhilde in Clemens Krauss's 1953 Ring which is in mono, available from Orfeo as a complete Ring (I don't know if it's sold separately by Orfeo; Pristine will sell you their remastered Götterdämmerung by itself if you want, but for an absolutely insane price). For some reason the prices are all crazy.
 

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This is the 1955 stereo Bayreuth recording on Testament, right? I can't believe how expensive that cycle is! And I think it used to be even higher. Varnay was also the Brünnhilde in Clemens Krauss's 1953 Ring which is in mono, available from Orfeo as a complete Ring (I don't know if it's sold separately by Orfeo; Pristine will sell you their remastered Götterdämmerung by itself if you want, but for an absolutely insane price). For some reason the prices are all crazy.
I was lucky. I found the Keilberth Ring in the library and copied it. (Now that I've said that I expect the FBI will come any day to arrest me. Fortunately they probably don't spend much time monitoring classical music forums.) I bought the Krauss Ring 30 years ago at Tower Records (R.I.P.). It was quite inexpensive. I just checked on Amazon, they have only two copies, a new one for $59.99 and a used one for $39.99. The classical CD market is collapsing. I'm buying recordings now I might once have waited for, in fact have waited for, out of fear they'll disappear completely.

I believe Pristine Classical made their name by refurbishing old live recordings in notoriously crappy sound, like the Furtwangler La Scala Ring. I checked their website recently and found loads of mono studio recordings that are out of copyright. I was astonished to find the Furtwangler Tristan with Flagstad because I have the EMI edition and the sound is really excellent. I can't see how they could improve it much. My Krauss Ring on the Gala label is also excellent for a live Mono recording of its time. The beauty of Pristine Classical is that a lot of great recordings will remain available forever, unless they go out of business. The bad news is that you won't be able to find them elsewhere and they're expensive. I've bought a few things from them but not recordings I have other versions of. Are their versions an improvement? Who knows. The big companies like EMI issue "remastered versions" of old recordings that are little better than the originals, if at all.
 

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This is the 1955 stereo Bayreuth recording on Testament, right? I can't believe how expensive that cycle is! And I think it used to be even higher. Varnay was also the Brünnhilde in Clemens Krauss's 1953 Ring which is in mono, available from Orfeo as a complete Ring (I don't know if it's sold separately by Orfeo; Pristine will sell you their remastered Götterdämmerung by itself if you want, but for an absolutely insane price). For some reason the prices are all crazy.
I was mistaken. This was reissued on CD this century to great fanfare. It is magnificent. I am not a true Wagnerite in that I get conductors mixed up. Please allow me to post again 😜 She was quite young and in very good voice. Her Dawn Duet could great me to Paradise.
Richard Wagner, Hans Knappertsbusch, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra & Chorus, Astrid Varnay, Bernd Aldenhoff, Elisabeth Höngen, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Hanna Ludwig, Heinrich Pflanzl, Hermann Uhde - Wagner: Gotterdammerung (August 4, 1951) ~ Knappertsbusch - Amazon.com Music I used that Dawn Duet in a speech I posted on the Ring on Youtube some time ago.
Here it is for sale for around $200:Wagner;Gotterdammerung [Vinyl LP]: Amazon.de: Musik-CDs & Vinyl
 

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I've read that too, but it was a library book so I no longer have it. It's good and has some interesting material from when Culshaw was serving during the Second World War. The Ring is mentioned in footnote references to Ring Resounding, so anyone interested in reading about the Solti Ring would need to get Ring Resounding (Setting the Record Straight won't be of much help there). It covers his life up until shortly before Culshaw left Decca. The collaborations with Britten, particularly with respect to the War Requiem, are especially worth reading about in Setting the Record Straight.
Is the anecdote about Galina Vishnevskaya in the War Requiem in “Setting the Record Straight?”
 

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I think my question of yesterday got lost in the shuffle. I'm curious, so I'll repeat it.

Has anyone else noticed that there's a wrong note in the bass just before the end of Siegfried's Rhine Journey in the Solti Gotterdammerung? I knew the Rhine Journey before I heard the complete opera, and I spotted this inaccuracy as soon as I heard the recording back in the 1960s. Evidently the edition used then in Vienna had contained this error for long enough that no one took exception to it, though I still find it surprising that it wasn't caught and corrected by someone. The wrong note is harmonically plausible, which may explain how it was found acceptable, but it makes successive chords, under a repeated melodic phrase, identical rather than progressive. It may be a small detail, but Wagner knew what he was doing, and his ominous, tragic harmonic progression is rendered less poignant - or, as this teenage Wagnerite felt, with profound disappointment and indignation, ruined. (I'm almost over it now. Just give me another decade...)

Has anyone else noticed this "blooper"? Could Decca go back and correct it without reconvening an orchestra, through some sort of computerized manipulation?
 

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I think my question of yesterday got lost in the shuffle. I'm curious, so I'll repeat it.

Has anyone else noticed that there's a wrong note in the bass just before the end of Siegfried's Rhine Journey in the Solti Gotterdammerung? I knew the Rhine Journey before I heard the complete opera, and I spotted this inaccuracy as soon as I heard the recording back in the 1960s. Evidently the edition used then in Vienna had contained this error for long enough that no one took exception to it, though I still find it surprising that it wasn't caught and corrected by someone. The wrong note is harmonically plausible, which may explain how it was found acceptable, but it makes successive chords, under a repeated melodic phrase, identical rather than progressive. It may be a small detail, but Wagner knew what he was doing, and his ominous, tragic harmonic progression is rendered less poignant - or, as this teenage Wagnerite felt, with profound disappointment and indignation, ruined. (I'm almost over it now. Just give me another decade...)

Has anyone else noticed this "blooper"? Could Decca go back and correct it without reconvening an orchestra, through some sort of computerized manipulation?
I suppose I never noticed, or wouldn’t know it if I heard it? I’m going to try it out.
 

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Here's a question for you guys: I own this 1997 set of Solti's Ring -



Should I buy these newer remasters or does this set pictured above have sufficient audio quality that I don't really need to invest in another set?
The 2012 remastering sounds better to me, enough to warrant replacing your old set. Solti’s is not my favorite Ring, but the orchestral passages are thrilling and opulently recorded. I’m currently halfway through Furtwangler’s La Scala Ring and like it more than Solti (even with the bootleg caliber sonics). Also prefer Krauss to Solti. (Krauss’s choruses in Gotterdammerung are the bomb.)

I have a soft spot for Karajan since it was my first Ring or at least the first that made an impression. Boulez is a decent choice if you want visuals. I liked it better than Barenboim’s staged version. I didn’t like Levine much. There were also some eurotrashy ones that I churned through on DVD about a decade ago. I’m looking forward to finishing Furtwangler at La Scala. I already have his RAI recordings waiting in the wings. After that, probably Bohm, Keilberth—or maybe even the Potted Ring!
 
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