Der Ring des Nibelungen

Der Ring des Nibelungen


The entire cycle:

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen – Hans Swarowsky, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague National Theatre Orchestra, Liselotte Becker-Egner, Angelika Berger, Hilde Rosner, Rolf Kühne, Ruth Hesse, Rolf Polke, Heidemaria Ferch, Otto von Rohr, Takao Okamura, Herbert Doussant, Rudolf Knoll, Fritz Uhl, Herold Kraus, Ursula Boese, Gerald McKee, Ditha Sommer, Nadezda Kniplova, Margit Kobeck, Bella Jasper, Hilde Roser, Erica Schubert, Ingrid Goritz, Siw Ericsdotter, Artist Unknown & Richard Wagner

Think I like this one the best, but when I started this, I only really listened to the first two operas in-depth, on this one. Strikes me as a rougher cut, but some of the material seems stronger, despite rough edges.

The “roughness,” is due, in part, to the audio delivery. Tiny “in-ear” headphones, i.e., ear buds, and a pair of Apple’s Air Pods, plus bouncing the MP3 tracks wirelessly to speakers behind me at home. Bluetooth isn’t all it is cracked up to be. However, for convenience, I’ll accept the barely audible decline in reproduction.

That’s like “90% of 90%,” and even with an adjusted set of equations, that’s running around 81% of a full-on, audio perfection.

Couple of places where it sounds like, to me, the bass hits that magic spot and over-powers the delivery system, still, the voices themselves seem even stronger and more secure than the previous versions I’ve got. Gods and goddesses sound like supernatural beings — like they should.

This one has a sad tale attached to it, as I wanted a single format for all four operas, I figured it was worth to just download the whole thing, and somehow wound up with two versions. I had to log in to iTunes Technical Support for an answer that turned out to be, user-error. My bad. Still, now?

One, convenient download.

After two more spins through? That’s a lot of opera, but after two more full times through? I still find the audio quality a little lacking, but only because, back-to-back, I’ve got the other editions.

Der Ring des Nibelungen

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen – Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele & Pierre Boulez

The Met version — got my CD version, 14 disks, picked it up in a record store in Seattle. No libretto, and very minimal packaging, little documentation, above credits for performers, but a reasonably good version of The Ring Cycle.

This Met version is the most recent one until I got carried away with iTunes — stupid Apple Music.

The problem with ripping this set, and I’ve done it twice now, at least, is that there are multiple versions of this music, so iTunes didn’t tag the CDs in order, or even the same way. It’s got a few voices that seem somewhat stronger than the Solti version, but that could be me.


I am, certainly, no opera critic.

Der Ring des Nibelungen

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen – James Levine & Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

The Solti — it was my first version, over and over, most near 20 years ago, I listened to that version of the opera, had it on repeat in a broken CD player, in a trailer, in South Austin. I learned some of the nuances from that single recording.

That single recording, played over and over.

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen – Sir Georg Solti & Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

The “Solti,” to this day, had the very best packaging, and my CD set is still intact, in its proper order. 14 disks?

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (Ring Cycle)

Extra points for best packaging. I’ve ripped and listened to this one, over and over, several times, with my original packaging in “near mint” condition. Not that it matters. The last decade, it sits on the shelf until I get some kind internal motivation to get a clean version on an iPod, now iPhone. As a matter of form, I think squeezed it all onto an iPod Shuffle thing, once.

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen – Sir Georg Solti & Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Der Ring des Nibelungen

Der Ring des Nibelungen

Der Ring des Nibelungen

Another previous mention.

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