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Discussion: Wagner: Der Ring - symphonisch - Klajner

Posts: 4

Post by Lute May 12, 2015 (1 of 4)
Well, Fausto.... I finally tracked this Ring "ohne worte" down at a reasonable price. I've played it several times and really enjoy it. In some ways Tarkmann's arrangement is similar to other orchestral arrangements of the Ring. But instead of blending all the music into a seemless whole as others have done, he focuses on the individual operas in order to keep their core elements & structure intact. He condensed each opera into a roughly 25-minute unit. He also reduced the size of the orchestra needed for performance. His goal was to allow more orchestras and ensembles access to Wagner's massive work...although in this particular performance I didn't feel any hint of reduced forces. It has plenty of power and drama.

I like this approach of keeping the integrity of each opera intact. It's more satisfying to start with the Vorspiel and progress naturally through. It has also allowed more music to be included. Siegfried is particularly nice in this regard. (However...being the huge fan of this work that I am, I would have liked even more music...perhaps in Rheingold and Walküre... Heck...more of everything! LOL! It's never enough, is it! ;-)

I was impressed with Klajner and the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie's performance. Klajner takes a broad approach with slightly slow tempi. It gives the music more weight and emotion. Only ccasionally do things start to get a little limp and I feel a boost would help, such as the end of Götterdämmerung. But, the more I listen to the Ring the more satisfying this type of approach has become for me. (Of course I still love red-hot performances such as Böhm's Walküre. And Furtwängler gets some fantastic playing out of the Italians in Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Furtwängler.)

The Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie do some fantastic playing of their own. They might not be the Berlin Phil, but they give a very respectable and solid performance. If I were to be critical, I would have liked some more refined playing here and there...the wind section comes to mind. But, this is a minor criticism.

One of the things I really appreciated about this release was the multichannel surround sound. It's not a 360 degree surround recording, but the center speaker is used very well to give a natural soundstage to the orchestra and the rear channels provide a wonderfully deep and immersive resonance. 2-ch stereo sounds pretty good IMO, but maybe a little more bloom would help it. I did notice that I got slightly low marks for sound in Klassik's review...

Post by fausto K May 14, 2015 (2 of 4)
good to hear you enjoyed this one. I now only regret I didn't buy it when I saw it for, if I recall correctly, something like 10 euros at Saturn.
Btw, one should take that rating for sound quality at with a pinch of salt, as in the review itself there's no mention of SQ whatsoever, so what justifies the ***?

Post by Lute May 14, 2015 (3 of 4)
fausto K said:
A performance really has to be bad for me not to enjoy Wagner, so how's that for a pinch of salt? LOL! ;-)

But, I always find myself putting on a whole opera after listening to these orchestral versions. I do miss the singing and all the extra notes!

Post by Claude May 15, 2015 (4 of 4)
fausto K said:

Btw, one should take that rating for sound quality at with a pinch of salt, as in the review itself there's no mention of SQ whatsoever, so what justifies the ***?

Many music magazines have a sound quality rating, but comment on the SQ only if it is extraordinarily good or bad. They prefer to use the limited space for a review of the performance.