Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Recorded Sound, Richard [Classical] Wagner, Gustav Kuhn|
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen [Box Set]
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
A Rapid Ring
jerry i h | Berkeley, CA USA | 06/18/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This Ring is a live recording of the Tiroler Festspiele Erl in Austria, 1998 (Rheingold, and also apparently a make-up recording session in San Carlo a couple of months later) and 1999 (Siegfried) and 2000 (Gotterdammerung). It features the Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo, and the singers are from the Accademia di Montegral, an arts advancement group organized by the conductor Gustav Kuhn.The recording itself is a very nice digital one. On the downside, the orchestra sounds rather small and very closely mike. The sound also has an edgy, bright quality that makes me suspect that they are using AKG mikes. Sadly, the applause after each act has been kept in, and the edits between CD's can be downright rude to the music. The singers are decent enough, but not really outstanding or especially noteworthy. Any shortcomings such as unsteady tones or lack of vocal clarity are more than made up by a clear understanding and portrayal of their roles; it is part of a welcome trend in Wagner singing that values acting and empathy over vocal virtuosity.The weakest part of this entire affair is the conducting. The tempos sound rushed, and the running time for the Ring is probably something close to 13 hours. The main problem is a lack of both the lyricism and dramatic power that we have come to expect. "Antiseptic" would not be an unfair characterization. The closest comparison I can think of Boulez. Overall, I would say this is a very nice Ring, but there are better ones competing for your money and attention."