"I had to think more than twice before purchasing this recording, especially since it isnt at a budget price, but I dont regret having done so. Wagner's original German language opera sung in English might seem more like a novelty recording (or a horrifying experience to hardcore Wagner fans) than a serious approach to the music, but surprisingly it works (for the most part). For the listener who doesn't speak and understand German this is a great way to understand Wagner's opera, as the connection between text and drama is made clearer--though I sometimes wish the singers diction and pronunciation were a bit clearer--but hey, its still opera and a complete English only libretto is included (along with a scene by scene summary of the drama, a summary of the preceding two operas, and an essay and photos of this particular project). Overall the orchestra and conducting is up to par and the sound is clear, balanced, and spacious, the only annoying thing being the audience clapping after the end of each act--its a live 1975 recording. While this is no substitute for the original in German, think of it as a great resource ... to understanding Wagner's opera cycle for listeners without the time or inclination to learn German."
Absolutely better than you think, the best of Goodal's Ring!
D. J. Edwards | Cheshire, CT United States | 05/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As good as his die Walkure is, Goodall's Siegfried is even better. For me this is the most difficult opera of the entire Ring and Goodall pulls it off with honors indeed. Remedios is a wonder! Wish we had had him in the Met Ring Cycles of the past decade. Hunter again is a wonder with beauty and strength of tone. Once more I enjoy Bailey. I found That Alan Blyth in Gramophone 5/01 and I seem to appreciate him. It would seem that Goodall gives this opera all the wonderful performance it needs. Not an easy show to pull off. This recording absolutely belongs in any Wagnerian's collection. Had I been at this live performance, I definitely would not have fallen asleep and would have regretted its coming to its inevitable end. And the orchestra rises to the occasion splendidly. From Siegfried's climb to Brunhilde's rock until the end of the duet, the orchestral playing is rich, very moving bordering on the monumental just because it is live and thus more of a risk than a studio recording. Hunter is nothing short of stunning. The duet alone makes the recording a must have. Too bad artists are not fully appreciated until we no longer have them around to enjoy. Thank God this is on CD to be enjoyed at the listener's command."
C. Lunde | 06/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is completely worth it. Other reviews aptly pointed out everything good, and this *is* good--brilliant. Alberto Remedios is the best Siegfried I've ever heard, and Rita Hunter is a stunning and convincing Brunnhilde. If I could give this more than five stars, I would."
"Do you know what Wotan wills?"
Eric S. Kim | Southern California | 06/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here we have the third installment (or "Second Day") in the Ring Cycle. And this recording by Goodall and the English National Opera is . . . well, let me explain.
Thre are grandiose Siegfred recordings out there, like Karl Bohm with the Bayreuth Festival, Marek Janowski with the Staatskapelle Dresden, and Klemens Krauss with the Bayreuth Festival. This one isn't one of them. Not to say that it is a wreck. There are some nice touches here, but pros are a bit below the cons.
First off, I don't mind the slow tempi in Rhinegold and Valkyrie, but here it doesn't work for me. The Forging Scene is never good in a slow speed, and Act Three Prelude sounds way too dull (I can't imagine a thunderstorm that would sound like this). Also, Gregory Dempsey as Mime is terrible. He doesn't have the fear or the anger that the character is supposed to be described as. When the Wanderer's final question is heard, and he goes wild with fear, there is no fear in Dempsey's voice. And when he tries to give Siegfried the poisoned drink, there's no hidden personality. This Mime fails miserably.
And then we have the other singers, and they make this recording worth a listen. Norman Bailey is a believable Wanderer, and he ravishes the ears whenever he sings. Rita Hunter as Brunnhilde sounds absolutely gorgeous. She has the voice all right. And Alberto Remedios as Siegfried gives a fine performance here; I like it very much.
So there's the good and there's the bad when it comes to Goodall's "Siegfried." But it all becomes so much better when the Third Day comes.
The Box Set: Wagner: The Ring Cycle (Box Set) -The Rhinegold (Part 1): Wagner: The Rhinegold -The Valkyrie (Part 2): Wagner: The Valkyrie -Twilight of the Gods (Part 4): The Twilight of the Gods (Goodall Ring Cycle/Chandos Opera in English)"
Slow and steady wins the race
David J. Trainer | Sydney, Australia | 02/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, we all know that Reginal Goodall's Wagner is VERY deliberate (read slow) at times. When I heard the late Rita Hunter singing in Sydney in the 80s, I asked her about working with Maestro Goodall, she said he was one of the most thorough and demanding conductor's you could wish to work with.
For me, this whole cycle is desert island material because the English translation is just superb. Fine singing and marvellous playing from the ENO orchestra."