Sunday, June 04, 2006

Rings and things

I mean, not that I need to inform anyone who's anyone who wiles away their time in the opera-'sphere, but La Cieca is doing the Lord's work with her grand mix n' match Ring podcast this month. You know, if the bounty of the Lord included neat opera downloads alongside the goats and milk and honey and stuff.

Over at his place, Maury is using the occasion to throw down his quick and dirty two cents about recorded Ring preferences. Though my knowledge of Ring Cycles and their discontents is rather more limited than his, I would concur that Solti is the place to start. The sound quality is stupendous, which, despite those who would swear by such and such Walkure recorded through a burlap sack next to a consumptive 200 years ago, is pretty dang important when trying to immerse onself in something of the Ring's musical complexity. And Solti brings a remarkably exciting consistency of vision to the money passages.

That said, I really find Windgassen's Siegfried there a chore. Although I suppose that's some further insight for anyone getting into the Ring. With the freakish exception of Melchior, no one on record really makes it through Siegfried alive, or at least without sounding scared shitless 40 percent of the time. Am I wrong?

9 comments:

Maury D'annato said...

Yeah, I actually think the Solti is a fine choice all around. Just if it comes to talk of love rather than like, I can live without Crespin and King in the Walkuere, etc.

Alas, Melchior spoiled it for all of us. I like Windgassen ok, but...Melchior kind of set the bar way too high.

Henry Holland said...

It's too bad that Hotter was past it on the Solti version; his Walkure is a wobble-thon.

King is amazing on the Bohm Bayreuth 1966 Walkure though some may be put off by Leonie's orgasmic scream when Sigmund pulls out, erm, pulls Nothung out of the tree.

Chalkenteros said...

Ahh, Maury you don't like Crespin?! Ahhh! Uns├Ąglich! She soars in Act 3.

O hehrstes Wunder! Herrlichste Maid!

Maury D'annato said...

Sorry, Chalky, for me she's one of those "I don't get it" voices.

ffoperabitch said...

I find Crespin's voice rather like trying to drink milk that's been left in the fridge a week past it's sell by date, especially (reasonably) high and loud notes. Yukk!

Chalkenteros said...

ugh, I'm already exasperated. de gustibus non disputandum est.

ffoperabitch said...

True. I have a penchant for Scotto at her most wiry and stringy lol

straussmonster said...

Maury and I also have the running joke about Gerhard Stolze's Mime...

I find Solti's conducting typically far too heavy and noisy, and it shows particularly in Siegfried (IMO).

hab mir's gelobt said...

i think solti is indeed a good ring to start but it lacks a bit of consistency as recorded over such a long period and with roles being cast with different singers in different operas. some of the singing is of course stunning (nilsson!) and some not so stunning, but hey where is the opera recording where every single role is cast to perfection?

i agree with the note on crespin by maury, i just dont get the fuzz about her singing, especially in wagner. having said that, i do think that her strauss marschallin is a pretty good and very moving affair.

and it is also true that she and king just never catch fire, so walkuere act 1 is a pretty dull affair on the solti set. king is indeed regal and stunning on the boehm live version - he and rysanek just rock! ;)