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Thread: Your favorite recording(s) of Wagner's Ring

          
   
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    Your favorite recording(s) of Wagner's Ring

    Everyone, after I heard Vickers sing an except from Die Walkure, I knew I needed a recording of the Ring. So please suggest your favorite ones on CD, DVD, or both. Thanks.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    It was Barenboim



    but after hearing excepts from Karajan I suspect it will overtake it (my copy arrived today woo hoo)

    Natalie

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    At the time of the favourite recordings thread I voted for my favourite as the Bohm

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    which is still one of my favourites

    but recently I am leaning maybe more towards the Keilberth or Krauss, which maybe more of a case of hearditis (the last I heard is my favourite) more than anything else...

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    The Barenboim/Bayreuth version would probably be my pick if I had to choose a complete cycle. However, my favorite recordings of the individual operas vary.
    For Das Rheingold, my pick is from the Levine/Met Ring from the early 1990s:


    (This is also available in CD format on DG.)

    My choice for Die Walküre would be either the CD version with Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra



    or the DVD from the Levine/Met Ring from a few years ago with Robert Lepage's "machine:"



    I think Gergiev has a somewhat better cast, with Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde). I also prefer Anja Kampe’s Sieglinde to Eva Maria Westbroek’s. Jonas Kaufmann’s Siegmund is the common denominator (and, of course, my reason for purchasing both).

    For Siegfried and Gotterdammerung, I slightly prefer the Barenboim/Bayreuth performances to those from the early '90s Levine/Met Ring, but it's a case of "six of one, half-dozen of the other" -- I like Dame Anne Evans' Brünnhilde better than Hildegard Behrens, but also prefer James Morris' Wanderer to Sir John Tomlinson's. Siegfried Jerusalem's Siegfried is common to both (and my reason for acquiring both of these, as well).





    I also like the CD versions of these two operas that were originally released on EMI, with Haitink conducting, Jerusalem as Siegfried, Eva Marton as Brünnhilde, and Morris as the Wanderer.

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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Mine is the conventional choice. I continue to think that Solti sets the standard for the Ring - some great voices, including Nilsson, pretty much in her prime.

    George London's Wotan in Das Rheingold is jaw-dropping, as is its spine-tingling ending with the gods' entrance into Valhalla.

    However, it is the Ring, so all sets have their merits. For myself, give me Solti - completely remastered (masterfully) a couple of years ago.


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    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Mine is the conventional choice. I continue to think that Solti sets the standard for the Ring - some great voices, including Nilsson, pretty much in her prime.

    George London's Wotan in Das Rheingold is jaw-dropping, as is its spine-tingling ending with the gods' entrance into Valhalla.

    However, it is the Ring, so all sets have their merits. For myself, give me Solti - completely remastered (masterfully) a couple of years ago.


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    The Solti Ring's cast list has a lot of my favourite names on there as well as a great conductor. I really need to get round to Wagner soon.
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

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    Thank you, everyone. Since I don't know what one to order, I better buy them all.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillMcEnaneyJr View Post
    Thank you, everyone. Since I don't know what one to order, I better buy them all.
    I too vote for the Solti as a starting point and cornerstone of your collection, though all of the above choices have merit and are worth acquiring eventually.

    Should you become a true Ring connoisseur, I would also suggest the following:



    Not a unified cycle, but a collection of classic Golden Age Met broadcasts, including a 1937 Rheingold, 1941 Walküre, 1937 Siegfried, and 1936 Götterdämmerung. The sound varies and is sketchy at best--you definitely feel you're listening to an old-time radio broadcast--but you get to hear the great Lauritz Melchior in his only complete performances as Siegfried in the last two operas, along with such luminaries as Friedrich Schorr, Kirsten Flagstad, Helen Traubel, Marjorie Lawrence, and Astrid Varnay. Truly, giants walked the earth.

    Not surprisingly, the casting varies from one opera to the next (three different Brünnhildes, among other inconsistencies). If you want something that at least appears more integrated, you can always opt for the Immortal Performances "Dream Ring," drawn from much of the same material as the above but also splicing in other Met performances of the era to create casting continuity.



    The operas from both sets are also available individually (and the latter less expensively, though not as recently remastered, on the Guild label).

    As I said, only for the connoisseur, but worth keeping in mind for future reference.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    ...
    Should you become a true Ring connoisseur, I would also suggest the following:


    ...
    I knew this thread spelled trouble...

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    I knew this thread spelled trouble...
    When I said "connoisseur," who else could I have meant?

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    I don't know

    - - - Updated - - -

    but give me time

    - - - Updated - - -

    I probably won't get it

    - - - Updated - - -

    but give me time

    - - - Updated - - -

    I don't even know what "give me time" means

    - - - Updated - - -

    someone just once said to me if you're in difficulty, just ask for time

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    Amfortas, that one looks indispensable. Since you and the others are experts, I know I've come to the right place to get advice.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    I should also mention, these performances all feature the traditional Met cuts of the time. Between that and the limited sound quality, I would only consider these Golden Age recordings if you've become a really dedicated Ring aficionado and have first acquired two or three more modern sets.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    I am resurrecting this thread since I just contracted Ring Fever. I understand it is terminal. That is, once a person gets Ring Fever, they have it for life. So I have only this ring in my big 43 CD Wagner opera set, and therefore it is my favorite at this time (I found this nice colorful cover for the individual set):


    Here are the cast:


    I only regret no Waltraud Meier.

    But I think what I need most at this time is a complete ring on DVD!
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  15. #15
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    I am resurrecting this thread since I just contracted Ring Fever. I understand it is terminal. That is, once a person gets Ring Fever, they have it for life. So I have only this ring in my big 43 CD Wagner opera set, and therefore it is my favorite at this time (I found this nice colorful cover for the individual set):


    Here are the cast:


    I only regret no Waltraud Meier.

    But I think what I need most at this time is a complete ring on DVD!
    Looking at what you usually like in terms of productions - I think you would like this:

    Natalie

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