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Jeffrey Sarver
The remastered Krauss Ring

Opera d'Oro has just released a wonderfully remastered set of Clemen Krauss's Ring cycle from Bayreuth in 1953. The recording balance between pit and stage is excellent, very few stage "clunks" and nary a snort or sniffle from the audience. This is a monophonic recording but is as immediate and thrilling as the recently bally-hooed Keilberth stereo set on Testament, and the Opera d'Oro cycle is CHEAP. I got mine from during a weekend sale. It cost me about $30.00!! There is no libretto but most people on this site don't need that anyway. The compact box contains 14 discs each in their own plastic slipcase. There is an interesting essay by Robert Levine and a few well-produced photographs of some of the principals

I have long thought Krauss the greatest of the greats in Wagner. Alas his early death, at 61, deprived us of, probably, a complete commercially produced Ring, most likely on Decca, with Krauss and the Vienna Philharmonic (hence NO Solti cycle), or perhaps even a live event from Bayreuth. But we've had to settle for various murky incarnations of this magnicent cycle on carelessly produced products, dim sound, scratchy surfaces and poorly manufactured cds, like the Gala issue I owned until pretty little crystaline patterns formed under the plastic coating, thereby rendering the discs junk. Opera d'Oro's product is of a higher standard and should last much longer than the 5 years that passed before the Gala discs disintigrated.

If you loved Hans Hotter and Astrid Varnay with Keilberth in 1955 you will go wild for them in 1953, both at the very peak of their gifts. Neidlinger, Windgassen, Vinay, Resnik, Uhde and Ira Malaniuk (Fricka and Waltraute) are splendid, none better in my listening experience. Hermann Uhde's call to the clouds in Rheingold is breath-taking, orgasmic. The rest of the cast, despite a feeble Freia and a pretty awful Gutrune, are also very fine. Krauss's conducting comes as close to "perfect" as I can imagine; covering all points between Furtwängler's depths and Solti's erotic thrust.

Don't miss this release if you love the Ring and admire Clemens Krauss, or are interested in his all-to-small recorded Wagner legacy. This reads like an ad but I assure you that I am in no way affiliated with Opera d'Oro!

Ho-jo-to-ho! I'm so glad this forum is back!!


Hey that was great to read.

Hey that was great to read. Thanks for the great post .Loved every part of it. 

The Forum is Back

Posted December 17, 2012

The truth be told, the Forum never went away. The Forum and all its content migrated over when the Wagner Society of Northern California launched it's new website back in October 2010.

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Pristine Classical

Pristine Classical from France offers their own remastered version of this Ring which is in every way superior to the Opera d"Oro version. Pristine offers both CDs and downloads in a large variety of resolution formats. I have been downloading Pristine's offerings since their inception. I have never been disappointed. Their specialty is remastering very old recordings. The techniques employed are truly state-of-the-art. The catalog is huge.