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Profile for Richard Ritchie > Reviews

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Richard Ritchie (London, United Kingdom)

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The First Recital (1949) - Maria Callas Remastered
The First Recital (1949) - Maria Callas Remastered
Price: £6.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interpretative genius and such a mournful quality in one person is amazing. I shall never understand how some people prefer ..., 11 Dec. 2014
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Callas was phenomenal. She is not over-hyped. To combine a unique timbre, dazzling coloratura, interpretative genius and such a mournful quality in one person is amazing. I shall never understand how some people prefer Sutherland - in my opinion, Sutherland lacks all the qualities just listed, save one, her coloratura which is comparable. True, her voice lasted longer. Maybe because she took fewer risks. In any case, this recording - very short, unfortunately - is of Callas as a very young woman. I have both the original LP and an earlier CD - but these transfers and edition are first class, so much so that it makes one wonder how far one should seek to duplicate one's Callas connection.


No Exceptions No Exemptions
No Exceptions No Exemptions
Price: £15.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robin Trischler is one of the finest of today's British tenors (I assume he is British), 11 Dec. 2014
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Robin Trischler is one of the finest of today's British tenors (I assume he is British). His timbre is masculine and beautiful, and the disc contains a wonderful programme of songs. My only disappointment is that the sides are quite short for nowadays. Some of the songs are much better known than others. For me, he is a tenor to watch.


Walkure
Walkure
Price: £57.68

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding, live performance, 4 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Walkure (Audio CD)
I would highlight the following concerning this performance. First, I believe this is Jon Vickers's finest interpretation of Siegmund on record. He uses to perfection his beautiful half voice when appropriate, especially in his scene with Brunnhilde in Act II. I think this one of the finest 'Todesverkundigung' on disc and Solti, incidentally, takes it very slowly indeed. That he can do, apart from Vickers, is because of Anita Valkki's Brunnhilde. I had no idea she deserved to be placed amongst the great post-war singers of this role, but she most certainly does. Her voice is beautiful, she appears to have the necessary power (although one can never judge that on record) and she shows enormous respect for the score. The final revelation is Solti himself. I have gone off the Decca 'Ring' partly because neither Solti nor his singers (who can be heard on better form elsewhere) are as good as those in the many later recordings which have followed. But in this performance, Solti is a truly great Wagner conductor and it makes one wonder whether Decca's studio technique, coupled with John Culshaw's influence, was as good as most thought at the time. Finally, one has to single out Rita Gorr's Fricka which, again, is I think one of (if not the) best to be heard anywhere. It is not Hotter's finest performance on disc, but Hotter is still by far the greatest of post-war Wotans even when, as here, he sounds not at his peak (especially in the final Act). Testament in its booklet points out that this performance occupies a very special place in the history of the Royal Opera House. It deserves a special place in any Wagnerian's CD as well.


Nachtviolen - Schubert: Lieder
Nachtviolen - Schubert: Lieder
Price: £9.99

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gerhaher and Goerne are two of the greatest living exponents of Schubert lieder, 18 Aug. 2014
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Gerhaher and Goerne are two of the greatest living exponents of Schubert lieder. This recording finds Gerhaher in amazing form, and many of the lieder on the disc can also be found in Goerne recordings for Harmonia Mundi. On the concert platform, Goerne has developed some very irritating mannerisms which somewhat deflect from his artistry. On CD, there isn't this problem. Goerne's voice is darker, his legato and breath control astonishing. But personally - and in the end, it can only be a personal comparison when such great singers are involved - I find Gerhaher more characterful and the sad quality of his voice most apt for so many of these songs. This is one of the finest recordings of Schubert lieder available.


Gotterdammerung (Sacd,plays on all cd players)
Gotterdammerung (Sacd,plays on all cd players)
Price: £38.53

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Most disappointing performance, 17 July 2014
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In truth this is a disappointing performance which compares very poorly with earlier and existing recordings, including Janowski's own earlier recording which is far superior. This set has one major strength - the fabulous orchestral playing and detail. Janowski takes it too fast for my taste, but there is no denying the excitement, precision and brilliance of his orchestra. BUT the singers fail entirely to match this level. Biggest disappointment is Salminen who is so magnificent in Janowski's older recording, but his voice now cannot match the beauty and power he had when so much younger. Lance Ryan probably has the power for the role - although one can't really judge power on a recording - but he certainly doesn't possess the beauty or musicianship of past Siegfrieds. I won't want to hear this Siegfried again. And Petra Lang does not belong to that exclusive club of singers who really can cope with Brunnhilde. So in all a very disappointing recording. For those who want to possess every recording of the Ring, worth having. But certainly never as a first, second, third, or even fourth choice. There are many much better Gotterdammerungs available.


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