The Ideal RHEINGOLD
B. Cathey | Wendell, NC United States | 05/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I probably have 45 or so performances of Wagner's RHEINGOLD; this one I purchased recently, and it immediately goes to the very top of the list as "the best sung" RHEINGOLD that I've ever heard, and that's saying a lot. First, sonically this 1952 North German Radio Orchestra recording is in superb mono sound; in fact, it sounds as good as just about anything from the 1950s released on commercial LP discs. The conductor, W. Schuchter directed various German radio orchestras in Wagner works, and here he gives us a taut performances, every detail well emphasized, every nuance captured in stunning sound.But more importantly, this recording presents us with undoubtedly the finest cast of Wagnerian RHEINGOLD artists that one can find at just about anytime in recorded music history. First, and above all, there is Gustav Neidlinger who sings Alberich, a signature role for him. Here he is absolutely magnificent; Neidlinger IS Alberich--you believe it. Then, there is the Loge of the youngish Wolfgang Windgassen, in supremely lyrical voice, never pinched or forced. The two giants are Gottlob Frick and Josef Greindl, and, again, beyond doubt they are the finest Fasolt and Fafnir you'll find on disc. Ferdinand Frantz is Wotan, a role he was noted for; and he does not disappoint. He's very good throughout. Rudolf Schock, Josef Metternich, and Paul Kuen (the Mime) fill out the spectacular male contigent. Res Fischer does double duty for Erda and Fricka, and she's also very good.In sum, this recording should get wide notice and play. It is the record of truly a remarkable presentation. This is how Wagner and the Ring should be sung."