Recorded during the 1960s, by Decca, produced by John Culshaw who had a vision of presenting Wagner's Opera, the final of his Der Ring Des Nibelungen Tetralogy exactly as Wagner himself would have wanted. He almost succeeds admirably despite the enormous undertaking of this production. Of course, Culshaw had at his disposal one of the world's great orchestra's, The Vienna Philharmonic, ably conducted magnificently by Sir Georg Solti. But, the recording does belong to the singers, many of them the finest available at that time. I cannot imagine a Siegfried, with his youthful and exciting voice sounding better than Wolfgang Windgassen. Nor can I imagine a Brunnhilde being sung with such passion as Birgit Nillson managed to achieve. And there are the supporting singers too, Claire Watson; Gottlob Frick; and Dietrich Fisher Deskau, everyone of them outstanding. Since then of course, this recording of Gotterdammerung has been matched by others, notably James Levine and The New York Met which is available on DVD, and believe you me, that is superb too! However, the Decca Gotterdammerung set the standard by which all others have to be judged, and therefore for music CD lovers, this has to be first choice. If you have not heard this version, be prepared for a musical experience which you will want listen to over and over again. By the way, this is a remastered Digital version, and its superb! Give it a try, be a shame if you didnt.
on 30 September 2011
As one reviewer here says, the orchestra in the Decca Ring was favoured -- something that, in this Götterdämmerung, made Mme Nisson very angry. In her memoirs she states that this imbalance between orchestra an singers has been corrected when the recording was remastered for CD, and I think she was right about that. Magnificient singing, magnificent orchestra playing, magnificent conducting: A true classic and for me a natural first choice, the Böhm Bayreuth version from 1966/67 (originally on the Philips label) as the second one!
on 17 June 2013
These fifty-year-old Decca recordings of 'The Ring', are my default favourites. Solti's conducting and his interpretations for these recordings are not to everyone's taste, but in my opinion I think he extracted an amazing sound from out of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The sonic experience is peerless, and a deeply thrilling one for me. Goose bumps, hair standing up on the back of your head are regular experiences when I play Wagner's 'Ring Of The Nibelung' cycle of the four operas, especially these ancient Decca recordings produced by John Culshaw and his team.
on 21 September 2011
The amazing 1st Act love duet, here sung by the two greatest Gotterdammerung singers of their generation, are totally and astoundingly eclipsed by the wonderful Vienna Philharmonic, the fault of the engineers who recorded the orchestra much too close. Solti should never have had his fickle hands on this, he didn't have a clue about Wagner.
A better job is done on the Bohm recording.