Label: Philips - 6747 037 • Format: 16x, Vinyl LP Box Set • Country: UK • Genre: Classical • Style: Opera
Post a Comment. New classical music releases reviewed in detail by Gavin Dixon. Their opinions vary, but the general consensus seems to be that:.
In fact, the two sound very similar, and with good reason. These live recordings were made at Bayreuth in and many of the singers Windgassen, Neidlinger, Nilsson also appear on the Solti, which was completed only Prelude - Wagner* previous year in Lets Get Together (The Chosen Few Remix) - Various - Clubland the mid s, Decca were clearly world leaders in sound reproduction technology, and the singers in both cycles are served extremely well by the audio, although the orchestra is not as well recorded here as in the Solti, a consequence of the opera house venue.
The most important similarity between this recording and its predecessor is the approach taken by their respective conductors. Both conductors are able to create real architecture from the symphonic shape of each of the acts, and also to ratchet up the suspense at each of the climaxes. That's an important asset, although perhaps not the clincher.
Many of the set pieces — particularly the Rheingold Prelude and the Immolation Scene, feel breathless and even mechanical when heard out of context, but when heard at the start and end of whole acts that are performed this way, they make perfect sense. And it's not all taken at record breaking speeds; Siegfried's Funeral Music is surprisingly slow, and actually quite limp in places.
It is hard to judge whether it is the conductor or the singers who are Close To Me - Chicken Shack - The Collection blame.
Certainly, Nilsson would have put in a more moving performance if she had been permitted a little more rubato. Some of the singers push in the opposite direction, giving intense emotion whether the conductor likes it or not. Dramatically, the most convincing performances are from the bad guys. Gustav Neidlinger is as sinister an Alberich as you could want, and Josef Greindl puts in a similarly show-stealing performance as Hagen.
The Festspielorchester here are certainly good, and as you'd expect, they demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the music. But their woodwind soloists aren't as distinctive, their strings don't quite manage the same fullness of tone, and their trumpet section has a nasal timbre that can get quite annoying after a few minutes. The audio doesn't help them, and the thin sound, especially from the back of the pit is the one major disappointment of this cycle.
Another curious anomaly is the almost continuous audibility of the prompter, giving each of the singers their lines a few bars before their entry. I can only assume that Decca let this pass the first time round because home audio equipment then wasn't quite what it is today. In fairness, you have to turn it up high before it is a real problem. But if you are listening on good headphones it is even more evident, and difficult to ignore once you have noticed it.
The budget price reissue has its pros and cons. The main pro is the price, and while this isn't the cheapest Ring cycle on the market, Tinkle Tinkle Little Bell - Jimmy Carroll - Speed The Parting Guest is the cheapest one that is worth buying.
It also significantly undercuts any Solti remaster, which may be a determining factor for some. The packaging has been designed to resemble some sort of metal briefcase or Karl Böhm - Der Ring Des Nibelungen canister, they are obviously pushing the archive angle. Wagner's face appears on a postage stamp, which doesn't make much sense to me. Inside, you get a small booklet and the discs each in plain paper slip cases. The booklet contains cast lists, Karl Böhm - Der Ring Des Nibelungen and an essay by George Hall.
Impressively, and unusually even for historic reissues, the essay is about the recording rather than the work and is very interesting, although it could do with being at least three times as long.
Most opera fanatics put the quality of the singing at the top of their list of priorities, and on that count I'd have to call a draw, not least because of the overlap in casting and the superlative performances that the singers give for both conductors.
The orchestral playing and the audio from the pit is a significant problem, at least for listeners like myself who place Wagner's skills in orchestration above his many merits in other operatic fields.
But then, if it is the orchestra you want to Karl Böhm - Der Ring Des Nibelungen , you would Pooch Piddle - Erwin Helfer - Plays Chicago Piano better off with Karajan or Haitink. I can't in good conscience recommend this over Solti's landmark recording even Karl Böhm - Der Ring Des Nibelungen the price differentialbut I can recommend it on its own merits.
However many interpretations of Karl Böhm - Der Ring Des Nibelungen Ring Cycle you have already heard, this one is definitely worth hearing.
And to be honest, if you are even considering buying this set, you almost certainly own the Solti already. Email This BlogThis! No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. Follow Classical CD Reviews on:. Petersburg Northern Sinfonia 1 St.
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