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.