Highly regarded 1952 Bayreuth Ring Cycle
L. E. Cantrell | Vancouver, British Columbia Canada | 09/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These comments are intended to provide a brief touch of reality after the previous two ... reviews.
This is the 1952 Ring Cycle from the newly re-opened, post-war Bayreuth Festival. It boasts a cast from that mini-Golden Age of Wagnerian singing. Many performers appearing here are legendary figures who simply can't be matched in any opera house today.
On the other hand, and in fairness to the author of the first entry on this string of ... reviews, I agree that the asking price seems outrageously high for a fifty-five year-old recording.
NOTE: This 1952 Cycle should not be confused with the live stereo recordings made by Decca for the Keilberth-led Bayreuth Ring Cycle of 1955, which featured a considerably different but equally distinguished cast. (The 1955 Cycle was suppressed by John Culshaw and buried in the Decca vaults in order to eliminate competition with his studio-based, stereo Cycle under the direction of Solti.) In addition to this complete 1952 Cycle, Testament has recently issued the 1955 Cycle in four separate volumes, each at an outrageous price.
Cat's Meow | Bradenton, FL United States | 09/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm afraid that if this Ring cycle were the one available in the early '60's, when I was getting into it, and NOT the Solti Ring, that I very likely would NOT have become an ardent Ringhead, much less a Wagner fan.
I simply found that the usual black velvety bass of Gustav Niedlinger to
be absent, as well as the menace with which he imbued the role of Alberich.
I just plain found it boring, and metallic in sound, and it lacks warmth.
It just doesn't measure up to the Solti Ring. Or the Bohm.
In fact, if I were faced with purchasing a Ring set for the first time, then I would naturally go with the Solti or the Bohm set. This is something that I'd buy ONLY if I had the spare $250+ bucks to blow on a cover of the Ring. I'd pick the Furtwangler or Knappertsbusch Rings as
covers before I'd spring for this one.
It's simply overpriced, putting it out of the league of most first-time buyers of Rings.
So, if it's your first Ring you're after, DON'T buy this one-go with Solti or Bohm!
I just couldn't get past the metallic sound."