Penetrating Wagner's Ring

ncdrawl

Wammer
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one day some self righteous classical critic will be reviewing my Wotan or my Hunding...

those are my dream roles as a Bass...

 

TheMooN

Wammer
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Mar 9, 2006
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Shall be giving these 7.5 IPS'sa spin sometime soon ~

Decca's 1964 recording , Gotterdammerung , Solti , Vienna Philharmonic .

Deutsche Grammophon DGG 9228, 1968 , kaajan , Berlin Philharmonic .

 

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Chumpy

Wammer
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I am sure that it is possible to enjoy most anything, including 1st Wagner Ring version you play/hear.

Which is why I still have a soft whatever for comical complete Boulez (digital)version shown on - was it CH4 TV - in mid-1980's.

Although - for enjoyment - I usually play other vinyl versions of highlight-bits we actually like.

 
T

The Engine

Guest
I got the highlights by George Szell and the cleveland and it 's my absolute favourite bit of classical VInyl....any other good vinyl versions anyone knows of.

I always think with Wagners ring its a case of " suck it and see "..........

Sorry, Thats not good is it ????

61FT6h7iHRL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


 

SSM

Wammer
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I first sucked it when I was 19 and have been hooked ever since. :)

The Szell is one of the great Wagner recordings of all time. :^

SS

 

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rabski

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FWIW, I agree that the Szell is superb, though I do have some issues with the recording itself. I find it a bit two dimensional compared to some others. However, the entire thing has now been compromised by the fact that I can't put the damned thing on the turntable without images of a 19-year old Ssolid.

I feel dirty.

 

tones

Wammer
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Came across this by accident, and thought it might be of interest:

http://www.gramophone.net/Issue/Page/Awards%202007/70/796667/Page%C2%A0;70%20-...#header-logo

This was the interest for me:

Classics' budget-priced "live" cycle comes from semi-staged performances at Gustav Kuhn's Accademia di Montregal in the Tyrol. These well prepared, fast-moving readings are unevenly cast. A fairly effective Siegfried is the Crystal clear: Lisa Gasteen was the toast of Adelaide as Brünnhilde stand-out, with the British Alan Woodrow in the title-role, joined by an unexaggerated, fluent Mime (Thomas Harper) and a young and excited Briinnhi ide (Maria Machutka). The Gunther Neuhold set (offered by London retailers for less than a tenner) is idiomatically conducted, and has some canny interpreters (Edward Cook as Siegmund/eider Siegfried, John Wegener's Wotans), few weak links and an unfussy recording. It's enjoyable, unaffected music-making, worth a punt for both the beginner and the curious.
John Wegener used to sing in amateur musical productions in Melbourne when I worked as a stage hand in such things. A good voice, an excellent actor and a really nice guy who has gone reasonably far.

 

SSM

Wammer
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Heldentenor Torsten Kerl has come to my attention recently. Dig the virile tone of his voice:love: I'll take him over Siegfried Jerusalem or Gary Lakes anyday.

Unfortunately in our current age of studio label slump, don't expect him to be on any complete recording of Tristan or Walkure. :(

[video=youtube;hLZrXbtA-_Q]

^ The costume and staging for this clip is atrocious though. :eek:ff: Just some bathmats hung from the ceiling and Siegmund dressed as homeless tramp. :eek:ff: And see the moment when he pulls out Nothung. :shock: Did the director misread it as "Nothing"? :clout:

Oh my, I can be a better stage director than whoever was this production's idiot. I'll stage Wagner in the traditional Romantic way --- with lots of foliage and flowers from my shop. :flowers: :flowers: :flowers:

That's how Wagner productions should be. Sadly we may never see the good old days of realistic sets again. :cs:

SS

watch


 

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rabski

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You speak true Ssolid. That clip looks like a secondary-school production, but with less panache.

Wagner is massive music and needs massive staging. It's impossible to downscale it.

 

SSM

Wammer
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Well, this is a relatively good-sized modern staging but the concept is errrrrwwwww... :dunno:

[video=youtube;FPcrqkViZKw]

^ I don't approve but I suspect you, O God of Drink, do. ;-) Winged Valkyries with bottles of booze!!! :shock: And they are brunettes not Nordic blondes. :nup: Given the chunkiness of a couple of 'em, these boozin' Valkyries look like the offspring of Rabski and the Kitchen Goddess - Nigella. :D

Naff production from the country that banned Marmite and Vegemite - Denmark:roll:. Sezs it all.

SS

 

Logan

Wammer
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Aug 3, 2005
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A better Siegmund than most of recent vintage. Nevertheless I'll stick with Jonas Kaufmann in the movie of the Met production as the best I've heard since Vickers in the Karajan set. I hope he doesn't ruin his voice by trying Siegfried at any stage. Like Voight is damaging hers by doing Brunnhilde with a voice too small for the role.

To me the highlight in the Met movie was Terfel as a Wotan singing as if Wagner was foreshadowing the music of Berg and Schoenberg. Plus the fact that all textual swords and spears were actually there. I have a simple philosophical approach to the Ring - if Wagner wants a dragon then you have the dragon. Unlike a recent Otello I saw in a production I'm ashamed to identify. The setting was fascist Italy in the 1930s with Blackshirts galore. Otello arrived and declaimed Esultate!! on the platform of a railroad station surrounded by his luggage. What about the storm and the dangers to his ship entering the harbour as outlined in the libretto? Nothing, as with Siegmund's sword in the above clip. I distinctly heard reference to the sinking of enemy galleys too, and am still wrestling with this as an apt subject of conversation on an Italian railroad station.

For God's sake, opera is basically ridiculous enough as it stands. Why do modern producers seek to render it even more so?

In passing, I met Siegfried Jerusalem recently at a communal lunch. He didn't sing for us but presented as a pleasant, modest and sensible guy. I told him how much I enjoyed his contribution to Chailly's stunning Gurrelieder, which pleased him immensely. I think he was happy to find someone who appreciated him as more than just a Wagner tenor.

 
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musicbox

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Jul 23, 2005
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For God's sake, opera is basically ridiculous enough as it stands. Why do modern producers seek to render it even more so?
Statement of the year! :^

I'd thank Jerusalem for his Parsifal with Barenboim.... but that Gurrelieder is damn good too.

Is there a new Met Ring available - on DVD? where?

 

SSM

Wammer
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Checked back too late, sorry. Great post, Logan. :^ I totally agree. Its preposterous that stage directors would place the scenes of famous operas in modern settings that contradict the libretto. :eek:ff: The Realist method is the best way to present Wagner's Ring, and Verdi's and Puccini's operas. Although, several of Strauss's operas can accommodate more out-landish interpretations, like Die frau ohne Schatten, Die Liebe von Danae and maybe even Elektra.

Meanwhile, this must be a first of sorts...Israelites invade Bayreuth. About time, although audiences should be prepared to hear sounds of Dickie turning in his grave. :p

SS

 

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rabski

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So pleased this thread has been revived.

Wagner's ring has given me enormous pleasure over the years, though I admit that it is hard to penetrate.

 

peteAllen

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Agreed. The main problem I find is that my pleasure is limited by my concern that the neighbours will overhear me trying to penetrate Wagner - it needs to be loud and private

 

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tones

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I'm not a great Wagner listener, tending to go along with whoever said that Wagner has his magnificent moments, and his long and boring half-hours. However, en route into Basel on Saturday, I heard a bit of this on the car radio:

decca4785189.jpg


Wotta voice! I thought, gotta have that. So I did, that very day. Brilliant - extraordinary voice, great accompaniment and excellent recording. Perhaps I'll have to look at this Wagner business more seriously - and even go beyond my current "bleeding chunks" stage.

 

vacdac

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Jul 19, 2011
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Certainly telling that this thread has only just been revived after quite some time & that 'Munging' had not permeated t' Wams consciousness at t' time.

Even so in my admittedly cursory look through t' earlier posts....I saw no mention given to necrophilia:?.......a somewhat missed opportunity I feel surely. :D