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Best classical recordings...ever! - Page 116

post #1726 of 8952
I like Bohm's Ring very much. It's brisk, and Wagner can stand a bit of that. The Ring I listen to the least is Solti's nowadays. I really don't know why. I don't object to it for any specific reason.

My favorite Ring right now is the Valencia Ring. It has everything going for it. The conducting reminds me a lot of Walter.
post #1727 of 8952
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post
 

Talking about box sets does anyone have Bach's complete (or near complete) organ works? This is my choice. Lovely sound and the playing is very "Bach" (if there is such a thing :).  

 

 

 

I have several compilations but bought only one complete set so far, which is Simon Preston's on DG. It's more modern, by which I mean it's faster than usual and sort of virtuosic.

 

 

I grew up with the E. Power Biggs compilation and play the "little fugue" on repeat to wake up every morning on the drive in to work.


Edited by Claritas - 4/23/14 at 11:58am
post #1728 of 8952

I really like the way Karajan approached the Ring when he was still at his peak in the 60's. He focused on the score and brought a different dimension to it. He really brought out the beauty of the orchestral writing. The Boulez set is quite similar in that respect and I appreciate that one too. It is Wagner's orchestral writing and opera structure that never ceases to amaze me. Both these recordings are ideal for studying it or putting it under the microscope.

Both are pretty much opposite to Solti's huge dramatic theatre. But at the end of the day I think Wagner should be huge and dramatic.. Everything is larger than life when it comes to Wagner. Solti's cycle still sounds amazing to me. It may not have the greatest vocal performances, but they are still very good. Putting aside the recording techniques, for me it is the sheer emotion and power that Solti manages to keep from start to finish. There is never a dull moment (so to speak). 

post #1729 of 8952
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

I have several compilations but bought only one complete set so far, which is Simon Preston's on DG. It's more modern, by which I mean it's faster than usual and sort of virtuosic.

 

 

I grew up with the E. Power Biggs compilation and play the "little fugue" on repeat to wake up every morning on the drive in to work.

I've heard bits of the Preston and yes it is very lively! Nothing wrong with that of course. But like most complete survey's theres never going to be a perfect one. The Toccatas and fugues are amazing with Preston, where a little more 'life' can very much add to them in a positive way. The mechanical nature of Bach's contrapuntal writing can often seem.. well  'mechanical', especially with all the repeats. Suppose thats why we all love Gould! I think Herrick has hit a happy medium of the technical and the musical - without it sounding like he is reading the music as he plays. But it's too big a survey to claim his as the best. However its' defo my recommendation in regards to sound and style in general. 

post #1730 of 8952
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post
 

I really like the way Karajan approached the Ring when he was still at his peak in the 60's. He focused on the score and brought a different dimension to it. He really brought out the beauty of the orchestral writing. The Boulez set is quite similar in that respect and I appreciate that one too. It is Wagner's orchestral writing and opera structure that never ceases to amaze me. Both these recordings are ideal for studying it or putting it under the microscope.

Both are pretty much opposite to Solti's huge dramatic theatre. But at the end of the day I think Wagner should be huge and dramatic.. Everything is larger than life when it comes to Wagner. Solti's cycle still sounds amazing to me. It may not have the greatest vocal performances, but they are still very good. Putting aside the recording techniques, for me it is the sheer emotion and power that Solti manages to keep from start to finish. There is never a dull moment (so to speak). 


I totally agree.  The Ring is first and foremost theater -- a fusion of drama and music that was unprecedented.  I find that over 20 years after first listening to the Ring that I've become a fan all over again and I've been busy jumping from one version to another and back.  Without Solti, I wouldn't enjoy Krauss, Furtwangler, and Bohm, while Karajan and Janowski have helped me hear things that I never noticed before.  But I keep coming back to Solti as a complete theatrical experience that works even without visuals.  I'd love to see a good DVD version, but I find the Levine only adequate and the various modernist versions to only inspire disgust or hilarity on my part.  In that sense, I'd rather not contaminate my imagination with bad visuals and just imagine the Ring from the audio only versions.

post #1731 of 8952
If you want to discover something very unusual about the Karajan Ring, compare the overture the first act of Die Walkure directly a/b to any other Ring... say Barenboim for instance. Karajan flips the emphasis on the melody and harmony, so the harmony is out front. It almost sounds like a completely different arrangement the way he balances it.
post #1732 of 8952

^^ I've been lucky enough to see (first two parts) of the Ring at the Sage Gateshead under the direction of Richard Farnes and Opera North. The hall isn't ideal for such a huge opera and so it was basically the orchestra on stage with the singers static in front. There was a large screen with gentle visuals as a backdrop, designed to complement rather than keep you visually stimulated. I spent most of the performances with my eyes closed enjoying the live score from the fantastic acoustic of the modern music hall. 

Anyways, It was amazing to hear Wagner live. A real privilege here in the uk (especially up north!) It's had pretty stellar reviews as well - Just finished last year. I do hope they put it out commercially on disc. 

post #1733 of 8952
I was lucky enough to see the Ring in Seattle with Rita Hunter and Alberto Remedios back when I was in college. I saw Gotterdammerung in San Francisco under Runnicles about 15 years ago. But I have to say, as great as seeing it live was, I enjoy seeing the blu-rays on my hidef projection system even more. We live in a great time technologically.
post #1734 of 8952

I was able to attend the RIng last summer in Seattle - the last production of their so-called "Green" Ring. Stunning sets and stage design. As much as I appreciate the technology available today, no Blue Ray could ever capture the beauty of the Seattle performances. That's when you know theatre is great: being there live has no substitute. All three cycles were sold-out and thankfully, the audiences were all very serious opera buffs. No one talked, unwrapped candy, used a cell phone or did other unforgivable things during the show. Wish I could say the same about audiences in San Francisco, LA, Santa Fe or Dallas.

post #1735 of 8952
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post
 

  Loved it at the time but its probably my least favorite now of the more famous Ring sets. 

 

 

 

Never underestimate the power of relativity. 

 

:smile:

post #1736 of 8952

Speaking of Bohm and first boxsets;

 

His Mozart Symphony

set was the first Mozart collection I got(some time ago) and it still may me my favorite collection of Mozart symphonies.

post #1737 of 8952
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 We live in a great time technologically.

 

Agreed.

 

Unfortunately real activity between humans in real time and space TOGETHER has suffered IMO.

I'm still much happier than I was 20 years ago though....

post #1738 of 8952
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post
 

 

Talking about box sets does anyone have Bach's complete (or near complete) organ works? This is my choice. Lovely sound and the playing is very "Bach" (if there is such a thing :).  

 

 

 

 

Yes I've heard several.

No I haven't heard the Herrick you mention here.

 

    ".....playing is very "Bach....." "

 

Curious what this means.....

 

I grew up with Walcha's recordings and my mother was a very accomplished organist so I'm biased.

I tend to hear something interesting (one way or another) and new in every performance of Bach's organ music so I keep listening and learning....

 

I don't listen too often though.At the right time there is nothing better.

Often, at those times I would rather hear nothing else.

post #1739 of 8952
Quote:
Originally Posted by perhapss View Post
 

 

Agreed.

 

Unfortunately real activity between humans in real time and space TOGETHER has suffered IMO.

 

 

I agree. 

 

I also do not take for granted (though it is very easy to) for example, the ability to communicate with people from the other side of the planet on matters that we share common affection towards - which in our case being classical music. Furthermore, the ability to search for music, and listening to it, immediately after discussing it on such a forum has equalised the platform in terms of expense and accessibility. I generally see all this as a positive step, not merely because more people can enjoy music, but also because it can lead to the promotion of higher quality. 

 

Recently thread members discussed the romance of scraping their pennies together to begin and add to their music collection, or any other means of accessing music. 

Personally speaking, I wish I had had access to the current technology and services as I do now. I would have saved a lot of money and time which would have been focused much more in feeding my love and knowledge of music (of all genres), and just perhaps would have opened avenues to wonderful materials that even today I have yet to discover. 

 

But perhaps not everything was not in vain and perhaps that experience has given me the context for this hindsight... who knows eh?... I shall be getting back to my music now.

 

 

Ps. I'm enjoying and appreciate this thread very much. Hope it continues to continue :) 

post #1740 of 8952

I saw Siegfried and Gotterdamerung  at the Washington National Theatre a few years ago.  Siegfried was one of those horrible regietheater productions -- set in a junkyard that was nauseating.  Then I almost screamed with laughter when I saw the cheesy robot dragon they had.  People were disappointed at first when they lost their budgets and Gotterdamerung had to be done as a concert version. But as it happened, what the performers did was to a do a sort of dramatic reading without costumes or props but with some action and movement.  And you know what?  It worked.  It was far more satisfying than Siegfried while not being as static as most straight concert versions.   It's making me think we should demand minimalist productions.  I prefer those to regietheater.

 

I've been looking for a DVD to buy but I watch excerpts of all the post Levine sets on youtube and think Ok... Not for me.  I'm having more fun imagining an ideal staging while listening to multiple versions.

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