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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth owning, if you're needing to complete your Wagner set., October 17, 2012
By 
Carlos M. Nash (Santa Barbara, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wagner: The Operas (Audio CD)
Many Wagner fans may find Solti or certain cast members to be weak in a few opera; however, when it is good, it is really breathtaking. These recordings are a testament to the quality of the Solti-Decca collaboration over four decades.

I've seen many people ask on different forums if these recordings have been newly remastered. The Ring recordings appear to be the 1997 remasters. The other recordings seem to be the 2002 remastering (96 kHz/24-bits), which I had a difficult time finding in brick-and-mortar stores 10 years ago.

If you are (1) a Solti fan or (2) missing at least three of the opera in this set, I highly recommend this purchase. The only downside to this budget set is that there are no physical libretti. A 37th disc contains PDFs of the libretti. Personally, this poses no issue for me since I can always refer to the libretti that came with my LPs.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Wagner set on the market, April 11, 2013
This review is from: Wagner: The Operas (Audio CD)
Included are all of Wagner's mature operas. Each and every performance is excellent. In my view this is without doubt the best Wagner set on the market. And the price is a bargain.

Note1: the libretti come on a CD ROM.
Note2: the Meistersinger included here is Solti's earlier studio recording.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solti in golden age of Wagner, April 21, 2013
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This review is from: Wagner: The Operas (Audio CD)
Read Thielemann's The Ring comments on Amazon, some said that nowadays it is hard to get the artists into studio. Instead, it is "live" everywhere. Plus, Thielemann's Ring got quite some nasty criticisms about the singers. Where can the new-age Wagnerian go to find some good excitement? Can't we once again have stars like Nielsson, Hotter, Windgassen and above all Solti?

I took a minute or two to recall my own "Wagner experience". My first ever Wagner was his Siegfried's Trauermusik 15 years ago. That was some shock my man. Ever since, all I wanted was the Ring. I read that Solti had it. Even though that little 15 CD set (the first CD version was 15, the 1997 version was 14) could cost a fortune, it was nowhere to find, oh, forgot to mention, it was in China 15 years ago. With time, I learned Solti had recorded all 10 Wagner's Bayreuth operas. There was this book about Wagner's recording in Chinese, written by a Wagner enthusiastic and collector. Every Solti's recording was on top of every opera introduced, that means his two Meistersingers were side by side. Even though I haven't touched a single Solti's recording, I became his cult's follower.

Then it came to the new age, the big brands like DG, DECCA and Philips remix, repackage, relabel and resell the old recordings, the legacy of the generation that already passed away. Solti in DECCA, like Karajan in DG, again saved the day. The good news is, these repackages are in budget price. This 36 CD complete collection is even cheaper than the 1997 14-CD Ring!! Reading the booklet inside, browsing through the names of artists, most of them already passed away, I just can't stop feeling sad. This box includes Solti's Wagner recording from 1959-1980s. The stunning sonic alone is worth killing for. And it was decades ago, how much does it differ from the ones that we have right now? Not too much. It is also a wonder that the DECCA team had consistently done so. Plus, DECCA likes to include the theatrical sound to enhance the experience, you can hear thunder strike and sword fight.

I think most music lover like Solti's Wagner. True, Solti didn't please everyone in every his recording. He seemed to place too much emphasis at the brass. It was metallic everywhere. For example for me, his Schumann was simply over the top. It was not cool to have some march-like sounds where there should be none. Some would say that was Solti's gimmick. But it was perhaps also his charm, especially in Wagner. I just like his ending in Rheingold and Götterdämmerung Act 2 and 3. His Trauermarsch is just fabulous. I like the way that the orchestra accompanied Sieglinde from calmness to complete excitement.

Solti and Culshaw must know that they had the singers of the century. Look at those luxurious casts. Diva sang minor roles!! Stars everywhere. What a treat!

If it is too much to ask for a new studio Wagner, at least let us have this Solti box.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful music., April 25, 2013
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This review is from: Wagner: The Operas (Audio CD)
I gave this CD as a gift to my son who loves Wagner. He loves it and plays it regularly. If you are a fan of opera, especially Wagner, then Solti does it well. A great gift for any opera fan.
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Wagner: The Operas
Wagner: The Operas by Various Artists (Audio CD - 2012)
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