Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Karajan
Deutsche Grammophon 4797354
Classical - Opera
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen
Lili Chookasian, Regine Crespin, Helga Dernesch, Oralia Dominguez, Helen Donath, Gundula Janowitz, Catarina Ligendza, Christa Ludwig, Simone Mangelsdorff, Edda Moser, Anna Reynolds, Josephine Veasey, Helge Brilioth, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Donald Grobe, Zoltan Kelemen, Robert Kerns, Karl Ridderbusch, Thomas Stewart, Gerhard Stolze, Martti Talvela, Jess Thomas, Jon Vickers
Chor der Deutschen Oper, Berlin
Herbert von Karajan (conductor)
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Comment by SACD-MAN (threerandot) - April 15, 2020 (1 of 3)
No comments on this very impressive Ring? Karajan draws a beautifully crafted Ring with great lyricism, but plenty of weight when called for. How about Vickers and Dieskau for starters. A marvelous disc to add to your Wagner collection. Happy I got this. Top marks.
Comment by Joseph Ponessa - April 19, 2020 (2 of 3)
I second that last comment. Some years back I got the SHM-CD release from Japan and fell in love with it. In a recent A-B comparison I preferred it just slightly to the BD. But right after making that comparison, I listened to the BD all the way through and enjoyed it thoroughly. Wonderful!
Here is an abbreviated excerpt from my Amazon review:
Because of the price I should not have ordered this Karajan Ring set but it happened to appear when I was gathering recordings of the Ring to prepare for the live experience at the Seattle Opera. I set about to compare Karajan's set with all of my others. It was not easy doing an A/B comparison because it was hard to stop the Karajan discs. Finally I settled upon a particular passage, easy to locate in any collection, the opening tremulos of the Vorspiel of Die Walküre. Many recordings are a muddled mass of sound here. The Berlin strings under Karajan come across as highly precision instruments.
The last time I was in Berlin, I had an hour to spend waiting at the trackside in the Ostbahnhof. Trains came and went, and I noticed that just before the top of the hour the trains waited patiently and precisely as the clock struck they rolled out to their various destinations. I had the experience of being at the heart of a vast mechanical clock, comprising the entire German railway system, and that all the proceedings were like a symphony of synchronized motion. Under Karajan the Berlin players make the Ring function like clockwork, a mystical experience like railway synchronicity. In a great symphonic opera cycle like the Ring, the best thing a conductor can do is give the singers a clear and faithful orchestral underpinning. Karajan does this for his singers.
Comment by DYB - April 22, 2020 (3 of 3)
I'm a big fan of the cycle and have the digital HD download. I wonder how it compares to the Blu-ray.