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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Varnay, Hotter, Windgassen, Krauss


Release Date: 01/22/2013 
Label:  Opera D'oro   Catalog #: 1504  
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Hans HotterDietrich Fischer-DieskauJosef GreindlAstrid Varnay,   ... 
Conductor:  Clemens Krauss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival OrchestraBayreuth Festival Chorus
Number of Discs: 14 
Recorded in: Mono 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a glorious Ring Cycle -- this one tells us everything about Wagner's great vision. It is the one for the desert island.

Newly reissued, this deluxe set includes a full libretto and English translation for each opera and new liner notes written by Bill Parker.

R E V I E W S:

"The idea of a "best" as applied to so sprawling and diverse an assortment of music as Wagner's Ring may seem illusory, so I will proceed to proclaim the 1953 Bayreuth Festival ‘Ring’ conducted by Clemens Krauss the best on records...
Krauss had Hans Hotter in his prime as Wotan, Wolfgang Windgassen in his first Bayreuth Siegfried in the freshest voice of his career and
Read more Astrid Varnay as a womanly, impassioned Brunnhilde. The rest of the cast, with minor exceptions, matches the competition point for point and easily surpasses all other "Rings" for consistency (the same singer taking the same part throughout the cycle) and overall excellence.
The sound, remarkably solid and natural for a live recording of that era, favors the voices in a way that doesn't slight the orchestra.
But what lifts this Ring to pre-eminence is the conducting of Clemens Krauss… Tempos move forward purposefully, on the whole, but without slighting the music's mystery and tragedy. And the intensely dramatic and ecstatic moments, those great outbursts to which Wagner rises with satisfying frequency, are delivered with blinding passion.
Hear this Ring, and find out what this music, and Richard Wagner, are all about."
-- John Rockwell, The New York Times

This performance "is an exhilarating ride, lifted into a very special class by the quality of the singing. On balance, this is the most impressively cast Ring you can get. Outstanding contributions include a young, remarkably weighty Siegfried from Wolfgang Windgassen, a threatening Wotan from Hans Hotter, an explosive Siegmund from Ramon Vinay, and a heart-stopping Brünnhilde from Astrid Varnay, one of the greatest Wagner sopranos." -- Rough Guide to Opera

"I have never lost faith in its values: a truthful, admirably paced, deeply felt traversal, performed by a real ensemble of singers working in dedicated fashion over a short span of time...you hear the work in a theatrical perspective and a live acoustic. The earlier operas are dominated by Hans Hotter, singing Wotan at the peak of his achievement...Over all presides Krauss with a judicious blend of the dramatic and spiritual, and the rare gift of maintaining line and musical argument through even the slowest passages. Where physical energy or incandescence are of the essence, Krauss inspires his orchestra to provide them." -- Alan Blyth, GRAMOPHONE

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Works on This Recording

1.
Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Hans Hotter (Bass Baritone), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Josef Greindl (Bass),
Astrid Varnay (Mezzo Soprano), Wolfgang Windgassen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Clemens Krauss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853-1874; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Venue:  Live  Bayreuth Festpielhaus, Bayreuth 
2.
Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Ludwig Weber (Baritone), Josef Greindl (Bass Baritone), Gustav Neidlinger (Bass Baritone),
Hetty Plümacher (Soprano), Gerhard Stolze (Tenor), Erika Zimmermann (Soprano),
Hermann Uhde (Baritone), Maria von Ilosvay (Alto), Ludwig Weber (Bass),
Ira Malaniuk (Mezzo Soprano), Hans Hotter (Baritone), Erich Witte (Tenor),
Josef Greindl (Bass), Paul Kuen (Tenor), Bruni Falcon (Soprano),
Gisela Litz (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Clemens Krauss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Venue:  Live  Festspielhaus, Bayreuth, Germany 
Language: German 
3.
Die Walküre by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Liselotte Thomamüller (Soprano), Brünnhild Friedland (Soprano), Josef Greindl (Bass Baritone),
Regina Resnik (Soprano), Erika Schubert (Mezzo Soprano), Hans Hotter (Baritone),
Bruni Falcon (Soprano), Josef Greindl (Bass), Ira Malaniuk (Mezzo Soprano),
Astrid Varnay (Soprano), Ramon Vinay (Tenor), Lise Sorrell (Mezzo Soprano),
Regina Resnik (Mezzo Soprano), Liselotte Thomamuller (Soprano), Maria von Ilosvay (Alto),
Sibylla Plate (Alto), Gisela Litz (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Clemens Krauss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Venue:  Live  Festspielhaus, Bayreuth, Germany 
Language: German 
4.
Siegfried by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Paul Kuen (Tenor), Rita Streich (Soprano), Josef Greindl (Bass),
Hans Hotter (Baritone), Astrid Varnay (Soprano), Maria von Ilosvay (Alto),
Wolfgang Windgassen (Tenor), Gustav Neidlinger (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Clemens Krauss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Venue:  Live  Festespielhaus, Bayreuth, Germany 
Language: German 
5.
Götterdämmerung by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Gisela Litz (Alto), Gustav Neidlinger (Bass Baritone), Regina Resnik (Soprano),
Hetty Plümacher (Mezzo Soprano), Natalie Hinsch-Gröndahl (Soprano), Erika Zimmermann (Soprano),
Astrid Varnay (Soprano), Ira Malaniuk (Mezzo Soprano), Josef Greindl (Bass),
Hetty Plümacher (Soprano), Wolfgang Windgassen (Tenor), Gisela Litz (Mezzo Soprano),
Maria von Ilosvay (Alto), Regina Resnik (Mezzo Soprano), Natalie Hinsch-grondahl (Soprano),
Hermann Uhde (Baritone)
Conductor:  Clemens Krauss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1861-1874; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Venue:  Live  Festspielhaus, Bayreuth, Germany 
Language: German 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  7 Customer Reviews )
 a wonder April 2, 2013 By Rory R. (Winnipeg, MB) See All My Reviews "The wonder of this Ring is that conductor Clemens Krauss makes it what one never thinks of a Ring cycle,that it is an ensemble piece; his wholeness of approach is philosophical in approach: that the work makes sense from the opening E flat in Rhinegold to the final dying away in Goetterdammerung only as one piece of drama, and thought, and mystery. It is possibly in that sense the most symphonic of Rings available. The cast astonishes on the whole. Krauss lets go when needed, restrains when necessary; this is an intensely dramatic, mystical, all encompassing experience. Is it really that good? A simple yes will suffice." Report Abuse
 Wagner the rings March 11, 2013 By Larry Severson (Dothan, AL) See All My Reviews "I am satisfied with the the rings. I ENJOY LISTENING TO IT EVERY CHANCE i GET. The rings help fill the imagination with wonderful thoughts. Thanks." Report Abuse
 The best ring February 25, 2013 By J. Martinez R See All My Reviews "I just got this set and I think is the best ring in the market. The clarity of the sound and the balance is wonderful for its age. The interpretation of Krauss is extraordinary. You can't find better singers in any other recording. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
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