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I think the "official" CD/DVD recordings were done in 1980 except Götterdämmerung which was in 1979. As far as I know the DVDs and the CDs are the same performances, which were done an act at a time in an empty theatre. So the '76 and '77 recordings would be the same production, with a similar but not identical cast, and "actually" live in front of an audience. I've only heard the Philips CDs. I wouldn't want it as my only Ring but I'm glad to have seen YouTube videos of the whole thing and heard the CDs.
This is correct. But, the '76 and '77 performances are both vastly superior to the commercial release recordings on CD and DVD, in my opinion. The '77 performance is one of my favorite Ring recordings. The commercial release wouldn't even make my top 10.
 
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