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  • Wagner: The Goodall Ring Cycle [ENGLISH LANGUAGE]
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Wagner: The Goodall Ring Cycle [ENGLISH LANGUAGE] Box set

13 customer reviews

Price: £99.33 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£99.33 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Conductor: Reginald Goodall
  • Audio CD (25 Jun. 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 16
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B00005LZVY
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,114 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Rhinegold
2. The Valkyrie
3. Siegfried
4. Twilight of the Gods

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By mail@bertcoules.co.uk on 4 May 2002
This magnificent set of CDs - previously available as four separate releases - is a record in the original and most valuable sense of the term: live performances from the London Coliseum, home of the English National Opera, made during that company's first great golden period and capturing for posterity one of their finest achievements: Wagner's huge Ring cycle of music-dramas, performed not by jet-setting international star names but by an ensemble company of (mostly) home-grown singers and orchestral players, the whole thing painstakingly, lovingly and thrillingly moulded by a shy little man whom next to nobody had heard of until the company brought him into the limelight.
Above everything else this is conductor Reginald Goodall's Ring; his knowledge and love of the music pervade every second. And then it's the singers' Ring: Rita Hunter, Alberto Remedios, Norman Bailey and so many others, performing with a lyrical and dramatic intensity which they rarely equalled elsewhere. And though I come to him last, perhaps it should have been first: this is writer Andrew Porter's Ring: few who were there as it was unveiled stage-by-stage will forget how his newly-commissioned English translation brought the conflict to such vivid life.
Of course, there are minor quibbles: some tempi are too slow and the pace falters; those who dislike such things should know that there are various stage (and occasionally off-stage) noises, thumps and bumps. An audience member who should have been taken out and shot blows his or her nose during one of the very quietest orchestral passages. But if you're in tune with the atmosphere, the excitement, the sheer sense of a great project triumphantly brought off - then it doesn't matter. None of it matters.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Stelling on 23 Jan. 2005
The first thing to be said about this recording is that it is essential to listen to it with a good pair of headphones. A great many details and incidental effects are lost otherwise. As with the recordings by Karajan and Solti, so much can be missed if it is merely listened to 'in the background' as it were. Unlike those performances though, this is recorded live, but with a surprisingly intimate sound which makes one feel almost present. (Unusually, soft rumbles of laughter are audible in some of the wittier scenes with Alberich and Mime, which add to the sense of theatrical occasion.)
The second thing to say is, of course, that it is in English (though sung with a Welsh lilt by some of the cast througout). And although Andrew Porter's is by far the finest singing translation (the Barry Spencer version is probably slightly better for reading along with German performances), it inevitably misses some of the intended Wagnerian performance ethos. Inherently, there is no doubt that German sounds both more menacing and more metaphysical than English. Take the simple example of a crucial word like Schwert, and it's English equivalent, sword. Whereas the latter will well equip Sir Galahad in a tale of courtly love, the former alone sounds fit to eviscerate a fire-breathing dragon or shatter Wotan's world-ruling spear. Likewise Spitze, or as Andrew Porter has it: 'spear-point'. When the vengeful Brunnhilde swears her oath in Act II of Twilight of the Gods, her pledge of 'Spitze!' at the betrayal she feels from Siegfried at that moment, sounds immeasurably more venomous. The translation just doesn't sound as bitter. And there are numerous other examples that could be given. Most of all it is a question of music.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alexander on 14 Aug. 2008
I know that many of the wagnerians out there will scoff at this english ring, but many of them have never heard it and they should buy it and listen. It is a remarkable achievement played and sung with real life and vivacity. If you are really interested in the ring then you will like me buy this as part of your collection. As a first buy ring I do not think you can go wrong, as part of a collection you will be a fool not to buy it.

Remarkable, beautiful, vivacious and in english!! What the hell else do you want??
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Inevitably this was going to divide opinion, but some of the criticisms here seem to stem more from the shock of Goodall's tempi than the actual qualities of the performance. They can certainly sound unusual, but they are no more drastic then Otto Klemperer's; Goodall was his associate, "rehearsing" many of his later recordings -- to the extent that, given Klemperer's shaky and irrelevant beat, the performances are as much Goodall's, or more. I enjoy faster performances too, but take the time to attune yourself to Goodall's approach and you hear details and colours in a wholly different way. He was also the finest and most knowledgeable Wagnerian coach of his day, to whom a whole generation, including Jon Vickers, owe their early roles, as well as the entire casts here - even Norman Bailey, though he had already sung at Bayreuth. The fact that he and the other principals went on to major international careers, from La Scala to the Met, testifies to their quality. Rita Hunter triumphed as Brunnhilde to Birgit Nilsson's Sieglinde, no small achievement.

Nor should anyone be put off by the English words, or think them less "authentic". Wagner himself was insistent that the words should be sung in the audience's language, and these performances show just why. The immediacy of the English more than enhances the drama -- and not only for English-speaking listeners; many German critics preferred Porter's translation to Wagner's peculiarly antique original, and wished it could be retranslated for German audiences.

There are some disadvantages, of course.
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