Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (Excerpts) - Lindholm, Cox, Stewart, Jones, Brilioth, Ridderbusch, Martin; Stein. Bayreuth, 1970
Listen to a Sample:
- My formative Ring Cycle was the 1967 Phillips set from Bayreuth with Nilsson, Windgassen, Rysanek and Böhm. In my young mind it became the apex of Wagner singing and seemed like an unsurmountable achievment. However, after listening to the 1970 Horst Stein Ring, I am starting to think that my favorite Ring Cycle has finally met its match (as blasphemous as that might sound.)
- This cycle marked the only time that Berit Lindholm sang all three Brünnhildes and she is nothing short of astonishing. She is able to find beautiful line in even the most technically trecherous passages and her voice is tireless.
- Jean Cox would own the role of Siegfried during the early 70s but he never sounded as fresh as he does in this offing.
- Thomas Stewart sings all three Wotan roles, delivering ringing tones and sensitive nuance.
- Gwyneth Jones's Sieglinde offers some of the most passionate singing I have heard from her (and that is saying a lot considering her high-octane reputation.)
- As far as the rest of the cast goes, there is not a weak link in the bunch. Particular kudos go to Karl Ridderbusch's touching Fasolt and suave Hagen, Janis Martin's Rheingold Fricka and Gutrune, Norman Bailey in his only Bayreuth Gunther, Helge Brilioth's Siegmund, Gustav Neidlinger's timeless Alberich and Liane Synek's brief, but impactful cameo as the Third Norn.
- I would be remiss if I didn't mention the superlative music direction courtesy of Horst Stein.
- Over two hours of excerpts!.
- None to mention.
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