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Best/Favorite Ring Cycles on disc

Young (does 34 still count as young?) opera lover here. I fell in love with opera, and especially opera recordings, at an early age and began collecting them ever since; I now have over 500 complete opera recordings. All of this news about Levine has been such a dark cloud over the opera world and I start a hopefully happier opera-related thread with this one.

For a long time the only complete Ring I had was the Solti. It was so ingrained in my mind that I couldn't imagine the thought of hearing another composer's interpretation! Mary, I know.

Since then I had added the Karajan studio cycle with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Furtwängler cycle he did in Rome for Italian radio with Martha Mödl as Brünnhilde, the Krauss from Bayreuth, 1953 with Astrid Varnay as Brünnhilde and the Böhm Bayreuth, 1967 with Nilsson.

Anyone has a favorite Ring I don't have that you would recommend? For some reason the Christmas season also puts me in the mood for Wagner, ha, and I'd love to delve into a new Ring over the holidays.

Thanks!

--Anonymous
replies 7Dec 6, 2017 12:03 PM +00:00

God bless you. You may still be around when Bayreuth becomes a Live Nation concert venue. You were born too late with too much passion. It's a bad mix.

By the time the Studer, Marton and the latter International jet setting CD singers came and went, the wind from the sails stilled.

The odds are against an Wagnerian operatic resurgence, let alone stabilization. But it most definitely falls under the category of a Christmas wish.

--Cynical, with the hope of a near dead lone camel in the desert.
replies 1Dec 6, 2017 12:24 PM +00:00

Here's a Ring discography--of both CDs and DVDs--that the L A Times ran a few years ago. It might help you sort things out.

Offsite Link
--Anonymous
replies 2Dec 6, 2017 12:24 PM +00:00

R1, Born too late with too much passion is a good way to sum up my life, ha.

Speaking of Studer, I know she recorded quite a bit, but I've never been overly impressed with her recordings. Was she better in the house?

Thanks, R2. That Copenhagen Ring sounds very weird, and perhaps just what I'm looking for.

--Anonymous
replies 3Dec 6, 2017 12:40 PM +00:00

You didn't noticed Studer's variable vocal production nearly as much live. She was clever, knew her deficiencies and negotiated around them as vocal problems arose. It wasn't so easy on recordings. And remember that she arrived with the advent of the CD. It took several years to engineer some digital gentility into a technology that turns numbers into subtle human sounds. She was laid bare on a lot of those recordings and videos. There are a lot of things that can maximize the positive aspects of a performer with today's recording technques.

When you think that both Muti and Sawallsich - how different! - both sought her out when her career began is pretty impressive.

--Anonymous
replies 4Dec 6, 2017 1:30 PM +00:00

Not to lower the tone too much, OP, but have you heard Anna Russell's version?

This is the 1953 recording of Anna Russell's immortal sketch summarizing the Ring der Nibelungen, by Richard Wagner. I have illustrated it with various suita...
YouTube
--Anonymous
replies 5Dec 6, 2017 1:31 PM +00:00

I just found Zubin Mehta's production of the Ring in Valenica from a few years back, I know a lot of people absolutely despise it, but I love the sci-fi twisting to the production, the projections and acrobats and the Segway Loki rides.

La Fura dels Baus, famous for their outrageously breathtaking performance-based art, present a groundbreaking and visually spectacular production of Wagners ...
YouTube
--Anonymous
replies 6Dec 6, 2017 1:55 PM +00:00

R6, Have you heard Mehta's Figaro on disc? I know it's not well-regarded, but I love the fast tempos and exciting singing. It's not appropriate for Mozart really, and should never be a one and only version of the opera in one's collection, but it's a fun listen.

I haven't heard/seen his Ring. I'll have to check it out.

--Anonymous
replies 7Dec 7, 2017 3:11 AM +00:00