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Wagner: Siegfried (Sung in English)

Wagner: Siegfried (Sung in English)

1 Jan 2001
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By кот Зигги TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Dec. 2009
Format: Audio CD
I always think of Siegried as one of the most accessible parts of Wagner's ring cycle, based on the music, the story and the fact that it's also packed with beautiful orchestral passages and a fantastic duet at the end. Siegfried's music is truly youthful and heroic. In terms of the musical and melodic performance, this box set doesn't disappoint and coupled with the fact that most of the sung roles can be followed in English adds a certain advantage (as I have explained in reviews of the previous two parts of this Ring cycle on Chandos). The disappointment for me, as in Valkyrie box set, is Alberto Remedios. His diction is very "fluid" and it is difficult to follow what he is singing most of the time. Seeing that his is the main role in this part of the cycle, I find it frustrating that unless I pick up the booklet and try to follow him that way (defeats the object since I already have the excellent and musically superior Solti conducted cycle for doing that) the only way I know what is happening is by listening carefully to the other sung parts around him. If you know the cycle very well by the time you buy this, then it might not be a huge problem for you because Remedios' singing is indeed youthful and heroic.

As for the "character" parts of Mime, Alberich and Fafner ... the latter is effectively brought out with the sound effects, but as in my criticism of Rhinegold in this Goodall conducted cycle on Chandos, is that there is a lack of bite in what I would term are the Nibelung characters of Mime and Alberich. They both sing beautifully but compared to, say, the Solti conducted cycle (my personal favourite) they lack the edge and bite required when listening to this opera without being at a live performance.
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Format: Audio CD
SIEGFRIED - E.N.O - REGINALD GOODALL.
I have seen Siegfried with this same cast so many times at the The London Colliseum, that to rehear those wonderful voices captured in such a brilliant recording was truly like revisiting a special friend you have not seen for a long time.Sound is excellent for a live recording.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the greatest production, of the greatest opera ( including the other 3 operas in the ring cycle by Goohall of course) the cast are superb. this is the version to buy by miles.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good recording.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT, UNDERRATED, GLORIOUS! 19 Mar. 2016
By Avery Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Ring, sung all in English by the English National Opera, will shock you when you read that it's a live recording. The sound quality is gorgeous, live, and because it's being performed live, there's a chemistry in it that can't be beat. The cast, folks, is uniformly superb. Rita Hunter's voice as Brunhilde is simply, refreshingly flawless. She was also a great, underrated Verdi singer. The English translation is excellent, as are all ENO's translations. And the singers' enunciation is impeccable, so you can actually understand what they're saying WHILE THEY'RE SINGING, instead of reading surtitles. Some have said that the orchestral tempi are slow, but I totally disagree. The stretching of so much of this incredibly emotive music adds to its effectiveness. And the orchestra's playing is wonderful. I have many top-rate Rings, but make no mistake: This one is right up there with the best of them!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Siegfried in English 14 April 2010
By T. Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Reginald Goodall SIEGFRIED in an English translation by Andrew Porter is surely one of the finest of all Wagner recordings. It originated in live performances after much preparation and coaching at ENO. Porter's translation is a revelation, clarifying and in most cases, beautifying the archaic German that the composer adopted in writing his epic. The production was recorded during live performances and it crackles with dramatic electricity. Singing is constantly engaged and passionate, and especially in the case of the set's Wotan, Norman Bailey, it sometimes reaches greatness. What is consistently great is the majestic conducting of Goodall. Never has the prologue to the opera so atmospherically evoked the dark forests in which Siegfried lives. The opera is played in huge arcs of sound that move slower than seems possible but still retain tension and drive. The encounter between Wotan and Erda with its stormy prelude is breathtaking in its majesty and in the sheer golden brown buzz of Bailey's voice. No other recording of the opera has so persuasively argued that SIEGFRIED, the least popular opera of the Ring, is indeed a great dramatic work of art and music. A truly superb achievement
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! 1 Sept. 2016
By Stephen M. Causey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the earliest of the live Ring opera recordings (1973 not 1975 as stated in another review) from Reginald Goodall's cycle and it is ,to me , the best of the four(love them all though). Great cast( especially Remedios-incredible!), great conducting and an orchestra willing to follow Reggie into dangerous territory (tempo wise ) and pull it off. The sound is good in this Chandos release and the large audience is really into the proceedings.
If you think you're allergic to Wagner in English or Goodall's tempi just block off 80 minutes and listen to the first act. Tremendous !! The crowd goes beserk and for good reason!!Everything isn't perfect - a few missed notes here and there- but some incredibly good playing overall. I act 3 just before Brunhilde's awakening, the crescendo from the full orchestra is unreal!! Rita Hunter sings full out with no strain and Remedios , who's been working hard all night matches her all the way!!And I don't want to forget Norman Baily! He's a fabulous Wotan all through and bows out of the cycle in act 3 in great form!!
Grab this while you can. This and the great Decca recording he made of Tristan ( in German with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra in fine form) are Goodall's finest recordings. The Tristan is almost impossible to find now. So if you come across a copy dont hesitate.
Steve Causey
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mixed feelings - 3 1/2 stars rounded up 16 Oct. 2010
By Ray Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I realize that the overwhelming majority opinion not only here but elsewhere on this recording is very positive. The Penguin writers believe this to be the most successful performance of the Goodall cycle.

Gregory Dempsey gives in my view the worst performance of Mime I have ever heard. I was not expecting him to be as good as Gerhard Stolze for Solti, but he wasn't even close. As indeed noted elsewhere his whining tone is irritating, and this goes beyond vocal acting. When he is finally dispatched late in Act 2, I was indeed relieved. I also found Rita Hunter's voice had a pronounced beat in practically every line she sang, in spite of tremendous accuracy and power - and this in my view was because of the very slow tempo. I didn't care much for Anne Collins as Erda either. As for Goodall, I found the performance dragged on a bit too much, even allowing for the slow tempo. As also noted elsewhere, the Act I forging scene music was plodding along - not convincing. There were at least one or two moments in Siegfried's ascent of the Valkyrie Rock where the music stopped entirely. The orchestral playing was affected by the strain of the tempo as well - this performance lasted about 4 hours and 40 minutes.

In my view the most effective part of the orchestral score was Act II. The opening, featuring the sound of Fafner, was the most ominous and intense of any performance I have ever heard of this opera. The Forest Murmurs were wonderful taken very slowly too. For me this Act was the best part of the opera, in spite of Mime. Derek Hammond-Stroud was again excellent as Alberich. Clifford Grant was fine as the Dragon - very menacing. Even Maurine London as the Woodbird was excellent - not in the league of Joan Sutherland, but pretty close.

Alberto Remedios has received unaminous praise for his Siegfried. So too has Norman Bailey as the Wanderer. I concur. The Wanderer's role, vocally and orchestrally, has never in my view sounded better. When Bailey was singing about Valhalla in Act I, the moment was truly magisterial. The English text was well presented and made the whole performance more listenable during the stretches where it was dragging along. As before, the balance between voices and orchestra was superb.

The audience at the end of the very long performance was almost rapturous. Had there been a better Mime and just a little more pace in the reading in Acts I and III, I might have felt the same way. It was nonetheless an enjoyable performance, especially for fans of Remedios and Bailey.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Do you know what Wotan wills?" 12 Jun. 2007
By Eric S. Kim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Here we have the third installment (or "Second Day") in the Ring Cycle. And this recording by Goodall and the English National Opera is . . . well, let me explain.

Thre are grandiose Siegfred recordings out there, like Karl Bohm with the Bayreuth Festival, Marek Janowski with the Staatskapelle Dresden, and Klemens Krauss with the Bayreuth Festival. This one isn't one of them. Not to say that it is a wreck. There are some nice touches here, but pros are a bit below the cons.

First off, I don't mind the slow tempi in Rhinegold and Valkyrie, but here it doesn't work for me. The Forging Scene is never good in a slow speed, and Act Three Prelude sounds way too dull (I can't imagine a thunderstorm that would sound like this). Also, Gregory Dempsey as Mime is terrible. He doesn't have the fear or the anger that the character is supposed to be described as. When the Wanderer's final question is heard, and he goes wild with fear, there is no fear in Dempsey's voice. And when he tries to give Siegfried the poisoned drink, there's no hidden personality. This Mime fails miserably.

And then we have the other singers, and they make this recording worth a listen. Norman Bailey is a believable Wanderer, and he ravishes the ears whenever he sings. Rita Hunter as Brunnhilde sounds absolutely gorgeous. She has the voice all right. And Alberto Remedios as Siegfried gives a fine performance here; I like it very much.

So there's the good and there's the bad when it comes to Goodall's "Siegfried." But it all becomes so much better when the Third Day comes.

The Box Set: Wagner: The Ring Cycle (Box Set)
-The Rhinegold (Part 1): Wagner: The Rhinegold
-The Valkyrie (Part 2): Wagner: The Valkyrie
-Twilight of the Gods (Part 4): The Twilight of the Gods (Goodall Ring Cycle/Chandos Opera in English)
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