Ring des Nibelungen     (Furtwangler - La Scala)   (12-Archipel 0413-16)
Item# OP0394
$69.90
Availability: Usually ships the same business day

Product Description

Ring des Nibelungen     (Furtwangler - La Scala)   (12-Archipel 0413-16)
OP0394. DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, Live Performance, 1950, Milano, w.Furtwängler Cond. La Scala Ensemble; Flagstad, Sattler, Svanholm, Lorenz, Treptow, Frantz, Weber, Höngen, Hermann, Hilde Konetzni, etc. (Germany) 12-Archipel 0413-16. Improved sound over former Gebhardt issue. Now out-of-print, Final copies! - 4035122404135, 142, 159, 166

CRITIC REVIEWS:

“Wilhelm Furtwängler's only live opera house recording of the complete RING is indispensable for serious Wagnerians. Furtwangler's conducting is incandescent. His command of structure is awesome; you sense the long, overarching lines of each of the operas even as you revel in telling details. The big moments have tremendous power, but also a nobility that often eludes Wagnerians. Time and again Furtwängler draws sounds from the orchestra and portrayals from his singers that reveal key passages in a new light, and he inspires his cast members to outdo themselves. Kirsten Flagstad, though a bit past her prime, is a magnificent Brünnhilde, with warmer timbre and more pointed phrasing than heard on her earlier recordings. Gunter Treptow is a fine Siegmund in Walküre; Set Svanholm and veteran Max Lorenz are compelling Siegfrieds. Ferdinand Frantz's Wotan and Josef Herrmann's Wanderer are excellent without effacing memories of Hans Hotter. This is a RING that captures the white-hot intensity of a live opera house performance under a great conductor at his peak.”

- Dan Davis



“Furtwängler, in particular, has an extraordinarily architectural sense of shape and brings an intensity to his phrasing unmatched by any rival. Wagner’s eighth and sixteenth notes dance bewitchingly without any smudging or rushing, yet often his tempi are either the same or only marginally slower than those of the [other conductors]. He has a particular gift for creating atmosphere; thus Fafner’s baleful presence sits brooding on the opening of SIEGFRIED and an impalpable but haunting air of mystery pervades the first scene of DIE GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG. He encompasses the whole gamut of moods and emotions demanded by Wagner, from the tender wistfulness of Siegfried’s musing and reminiscing in the forest to the grand, cosmic utterance of his Funeral March. He even seems comfortable with the comic moments, bringing a light touch to Siegfried’s bickerings with Mime. His 1954 studio recording, although impressive, seems a little flat and studied in comparison.”

- Ralph Moore



“Meanwhile, many people were sensing that the last great period of Wagner singing and conducting was the 1950s, which opened auspiciously with Furtwängler, the central figure in the history of Wagner performance, conducting transcendent performances of the RING at La Scala, Milan, with some distinguished singers, above all Kirsten Flagstad as a mature but warm-toned and generous Brünnhilde. Sonically far from ideal, this cycle is nonetheless extraordinarily moving and thrilling, and cheap into the bargain.”

- Michael Tanner, BBC



In reviewing the Archipel RING, Henry Fogel expressed his opinion [in FANFARE] that the quality of sound is so good on the Archipel issue as to eliminate superior sound as a reason to prefer the RAI. But the Archipel issue (which must stem from a previously unknown source, such as a radio archive tape) is a live performance with a superior orchestra and Kirsten Flagstad - in sound that is superb by any measure of early 1950s live performance recordings.

- Z.D. Akron