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Das Rheingold Import

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 7, 1993
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 7, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Warner Classics UK
  • ASIN: B000000SK7
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,401 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's John Tomlinson Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By F. Rupert on February 5, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having owned the Solti Rheingold for longer than I like to think about, I decided to buy this one to hear a different take.

The Good: 1) Overall excellent singing and characterization. John Tomlinson as Wotan was in fine voice for this performance. Overall the cast is quite fine. Tomlinson sounds tired in the Barenboim Siegfried, but not here. 2) Bayreuth sound - a bit reverberent, warm, enveloping. Sounds great! 3) Barenboim's tempos are well chosen. I haven't followed the recording with score in hand, but I don't hear the tempo instability that one reviewer complains about in his Bayreuth Walküre.

The Weak: 1) Solti had Kirsten Flagstad for Fricka! Barenboim didn't. His Fricka sings well enough, but she's not in the same class. 2) Live performances have stage noise; this one has quite a bit. I don't mind this, but if you like total silence behind the performance, then this recording isn't for you. 3) Solti had better anvils and hammers in the underworld. Bayreuth's sound tinny.

Overall it's a fine Rheingold. I like it.
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When this set first appeared in 1992, the Haitink and Levine cycles were well-underway in Munich and New York.
But Barenboim's were the first Ring cycle recording to have emerged from the Bayreuth Festival since Boulez's famous one from 1979-1980. At the time as they appeared I listened to all three of these cycles with glittering eyes and ears, brushing off the niggling disappointments that annoyingly cropped up, too often, in this and the Levine cycle. I've listened to this particular Rheingold many times since, each time growing less and less satisfied with the results, until now, I begin to appreciate the the consistency of its au courant relevance (excuse the high faluttin nature of that but I can't think of any other more pertinent description of the great elements about it.

The high end: John Tomlinson's vividly sung, neurotic Wotan carries the show, almost single-handedly except when the stage-scenery-chewing Graham Clark is on stage then all others fade into the backdrop. Listening to Clark can grow tiresome without his acting acumen and gymnastic performances after awhile, and the quirky little chirps and quacks he throws in along the way with a few intimations of sprechstimme, a common malady with Loge singers, bores after a couple of listens. But he and Tomlinson spark off each other and they hold the interest in most of this wonderful opera together was a whole and vividly dramatic experience. Kurt Schreibmayer and Eva Johansson are outstanding as Froh and Freia, but their roles are comparatively tiny. Bodo Brinkmann's Donner is good and fits in well with the whole concept but vocally is not in the same league as Eberhard Wächter (Solti) and other stronger voiced thunder gods. We are talking THOR here, very high standards these days!!
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Format: MP3 Music
First, a liability:
Not being a "die-hard" fan of Wagner's stupendously GLORIOUS (and more---later...) first of 4 operas in this monumental and extraordinarily original achievement, I CANNOT offer analogies between...aaah.......FIVE different versions of the "masterpiece"........ONE has sufficed-----for 10 years, perhaps because the attachment to it has been slow, very slow, yet growing.....
How to approach the "RING"?.....
SLOWLY, very slowly (unless you are such a superior intellect that can sit for 5 hours at a time regularly to pay close attention to it.)
My experience has been thus: having become more and more interested in "high" culture as the years went by (interestingly, a REVERSE from most people...) I met an "intellectual" who rhapsodized about the "Ring"......
and especially how this was decidedly NOT Italian opera, and certainly NOT Verdi, one of the unique factors being that there were NO ARIAS as such----uniquely in history.
This is not strictly correct, since Mozart's GERMAN operas (say, the GLORIOUS "Magic Flute") proceed much the same way and must have been a great inspiration for Wagner--------in that the entire opera is more of a recitative, although Mozart's DO STOP a bit to introduce the next "song". May we recall that these precede Wagner by, say, a hundred years.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
They didn't have the microphones on and missed the whole line! UNREAL

this could have been a great Rhinegold, but that whole beautiful entrance is inaudable.

in the booklet it's page 226, track 19.
right before Donners thunder scene.

so 3 not 5 stars.
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