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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen


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Audio CD, September 20, 1994
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$115.00 $32.95

Product Details

  • Performer: Richard Wagner, Mark Baker, MariAnne Haggander, Hei-Kyung Hong, Siegfried Jerusalem, et al.
  • Conductor: Linda Kelm
  • Audio CD (September 20, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 14
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GMW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #639,527 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

A 14 CD set of the performances of Richard Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen", performed by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra directed by James Levine. Also contains 4 booklets entitled "Das Rheingold", "Die Walkure", "Siegfried" and "Gotterdammerung" with descriptions of each part, some photos of performers, lyrics written in German, English and French, and more.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
After having listened to Solti, Karajan's, Bohm, and Levine's version of the ring, this is the one that I must pick. First of all, the recording itself is purely beautiful and well-recorded digital sound. It gives it a warmpth that analogue couldn't do. Given, it is a bit slower than the other ones, but that makes it quite majestic and adds a feel to it. Bohm's i my second favorite, but that one is MUCH faster, with Die Walkure alone being 40 minutes shorter. James Morris if the best Wotan of the last two decades, and Hildegard Behrens is perfect. The Rheinmaidens are superb, Alberich is well performed, and Siegfried is very good, but has been sung better. Overall it is an excellent recording.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Metropolitan Orchestra under the direction of James Levine gives an outstanding performance throughout the four 'Ring' cyle operas. The often slower tempi adopted by Levine in my opinion, brings out the beauty in Wagner's music because every note and all the harmonies can be heard. Note that tempi should not be at the detriment of the drama. Fortunately I find Levine's tempi undetrimental to the drama and for this, his interpretation gets a thumbs up from me. At times, I found that the brass section was down in the mix (e.g. the opening of Act 2 of 'Die Walkure'). Overall, the digital recording was superb: the strings sounded great and the low double bass sounds from the recording should scare anybody who's in a dark room!
I turn my attention now to the singing. Having gone through some other reviews to seek some alternative viewpoints before writing down my own, I was shocked at the complaints about the singing in this recording. But unfortunately, I must agree and may I also add that other 'Ring' recordings have singers who are also not up to the task or rather are overrated and don't sound as good as people describe them. The biggest dissapointment for me first up was Gary Lakes - listen to 'Wintersturme wichen dem Wonnemond' towards the end of Act 1 of the 'Die Walkure' - Gary Lakes is seemingly out of breath and unable to sing in tune (literally), there is no other way to describe it but a singer grasping for air and with this, the phrasing and dynamics go and ultimately, musically inadequate. Another thing, Jessye Norman is not a good Sieglinde, her singing is very good (in fact, the best out of the female cast) BUT, Sieglinde is not a Brunnhilde and thus, should not be sung like one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on March 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I became introduced to the Ring through this version. I did not think it bad at all at first. In fact, I thought it was unsurpassably beautiful, and that no other conductor could come close to Levine's achievement. I still do not think it a bad recording. Musically, it is nearly flawless. As a matter of fact, no member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra plays a single wrong note in the course of this fifteen-hour work. Some of the singers stand out above the rest and make this a worthwhile listen, namely Salminen, Studer, and Ludwig. However, now that I have managed to familiarize myself with the story of the Ring as well as with the music, I have many more criticisms of this rendition than I once did. Wagner was all about drama. One could even argue that he was more about drama than he was about music. The "whole tragedy of human history" is contained within the Ring Cycle, but one does not become convinced of this in listening to this version. As musically perfect as it is, one does not experience the effects that Wagner intended when he composed this grandiose epic. As pleased as one's ears may be with this rendition, one cannot possibly sense what one is supposed to sense--the world burning to ashes before him--nor can one become convinced of the feelings and emotions of the main characters, for nearly all of the voices lack the power necessary for an ideal Ring production. Hildegard Behrens, though always in tune, seems to be running out of steam in spots, and I was never once convinced of the pain that she was experiencing in Act II of "Gotterdammerung." Reiner Goldberg is not my first choice for the role of Siegfried. His voice is simply too weak, even though it provides the cheeriness that is one of the main aspects of Siegfried's personality.Read more ›
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Layton James on June 13, 1999
Format: Audio CD
As Principal Keyboardist with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and one who values beautiful ensemble playing, I can tell you that the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra sounds magnificent in these recordings. These are the only ring cycle recordings in which all Wagner's notes are played. Nothing is blurry because it was 'too hard' and there was not enough rehearsal time. The unanimity of singers and instrumentalists are a tribute to James Levine's leadership and his nourishment of the met orchestra as a prideful, supremely dedicated group of musicians. This is the only Ring Cycle worth owning if you want to hear what Wagner's music truly sounded like.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I saw this on offer when I was looking to buy a copy of Solti's recording. I bought the Levine 5 years ago and I have listened to it several times. Superb orchestration, Goldberg has a true heldentenor voice. You can understand every word too.
I have seen live performances of die Walkure & Siegfried (SSO, at the Opera H). Behrens compares exceptionally well as a Brunhilde. This is a great recording, but I'm still buying the Solti as well! vive la difference!
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