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on 11 October 2013
I have the entire recording of von Karajan`s Ring on CD but despite certain unnecessary snobbery regarding "bleeding chunks" from so-called "purists" there is a time and a place for highlights albums. There are times when I need a quick Wagner "fix" and this is the album to do it. This particular album is far superior to Deutsche Grammophon`s Classikon CD which lacks the all too crucial "Ein Schwert verhiess mir der Vater" from Die Walkuere and "Notung! Notung! Neidliches Schwert!" and "Schmiede mein Hammer" from Siegfried. These vital excerpts are included on this album. Even the double CD from Deutsche Grammophon`s Panorama lacks these aforementioned highlights.
This is the album that got me hooked onto Wagner 24 years ago and I keep coming back to it. The only important musical piece that it lacks is Donner`s "Schwules Gedunst schwebt in der Luft". This is present on Ring highlights albums by other conducters but not here for some unaccountable reason. It is hoped that Deutsche Grammophon rectify this unfortunate omission in any future revisions of this release.
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on 25 May 2016
There can't be a better one-disc introduction to Wagner's wonderful "Ring" than this. The soloists & conducting are second-to-none, the Berlin Philharmonic's ALMOST as good as the Vienna band on Decca, and the "bleeding chunks" are well selected. There is a two-disc selection from these recordings, too, which gives a fuller idea of the glories of Karajan's account of the "Ring", but it lacks the one short piece that makes his "Gotterdammerung" the best ever, and that is Siegfried's Death, which I have never heard sung so movingly.
I originally bought this Highlights recording on cassette back in the 1970s, and am thrilled to have it again.
At the time there was huge debate & rivalry as to whether Solti or Karajan had produced the best version. At the time I opted for Solti on Decca, as the added sound effects and greater continuity of casting appealed to me (plus of course the sublime playing of the Vienna orchestra, whose satring section was simply the best in the world). Today I'd opt for Karajan's, and this brief disc shows why. Wonderful.
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on 17 January 2014
Not a Wagner expert, but this was just the introduction I wanted. The delivery and quality of product were excellent.
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on 2 June 2015
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