Please be a little more generous,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wagner: Die Walküre (Audio CD)
Well, I took the plunge. I already have the Solti Ring twice - and the most recent version, especially the blu-ray, is awesome-, I have the Janowski Dresden set, the Böhm Bayreuth set, Elder's Götterdämmerung and Walküre, Levine and Barenboim on CD and the Walkure act1/3 set with Flagstad so I wasn't really in need of another recording but I am preparing a study weekend on Das Rheingold and Die Walküre for the Manchester Wagner Society so I felt that I could justify it. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
Boy, is this one driven! The playing from the LSO is magnificent - well up to the standard of Vienna or Berlin and both crisper and clearer than anything from Bayreuth. (I was lucky enough to see The Ring in Bayreuth a few years ago and the live sound is amazing and not well represented by recording, I think.) There is not a weakness in the cast of this recording. I might have preferred Regine Crespin as Sieglinde and David Ward is a bit too noble for Hunding ( he was magnificent as Wotan in Scottish Opera' first Ring cycle in 1970) but these are counsels of (possible) perfection and that is really what I wanted to write. One may prefer Karajan's sound to Solti's or a live recording to a studio one but we really ought be celebrating the fact that all of these recordings are amazing, splendid achievements and stop the knocking and point scoring. I am going to Longborough for their second Ring cycle at the end of June and to the Proms for Barenboim's cycle from Berlin and I doubt that either performance will field such a cast as we have available on CD but they will be wonderful, exciting, moving, annoying and uplifting - at least, I hope they will!
Most of us came to Wagner through the medium of recording - when I was a student, I could afford the cheap seats to see the Goodall Ring on tour but Covent Garden was beyond my means- and we really should celebrate the very fact of that and enjoy. No performance or recording will ever be perfect for everyone so, please, be a little more generous.