Joseph Keilberth - Wagner: Die Walkure - The Ring Cycle

 (Stereo Version)


Testament (Decca)



Product No.:
ADEC 1391
UPC: 749677139117

Vinyl Box Sets

No. of Discs: 5
Note: 180 Gram

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The most coveted performance of Wagner's legendary epic Ring Cycle was in fact recorded by Decca in Stereo live at the 1955 Bayreuth Festival. But until now, that lost performance has remained but a memory.

Thrillingly conducted by Joseph Keilberth (called by Astrid Varnay, "a conductor with so much love, who was always there for you"), the cycle provides the opportunity to hear complete for the first time on commercial release the definitive performances of Hans Hotter, Astrid Varnay, Ramon Vinay, Josef Greindl and Paul Kuen, in addition to the much-loved Siegfried of Wolfgang Windgassen, here heard in his prime.

These live Bayreuth performances were taped by a Decca team led by Peter Andry and including the noted engineers Kenneth Wilkinson and Roy Wallace, with Gordon Parry as assistant. Using a new six-channel mixer designed by Wallace, the team made both stereo and mono recordings of each opera. Three microphones were placed in the sunken orchestra pit and three were hanged from a lighting bridge about 20 feet above the stage. "This was brilliant; it worked beautifully," remembers Wallace. The company prepared for an expected release, but John Culshaw, recently returned to Decca, vetoed the project. He disliked "live" recordings and already had plans for a studio Ring with Solti, which began four years later. Decca's recording vividly captures in wonderful stereo sound the unique acoustic and stage/pit balance of the Bayreuth Festival theatre with its sunken orchestra, in addition to preserving the leading singers from a Wagnerian golden age in live performance.

1. Prelude
2. Act One, Scene One
3. Act One, Scene Two (beginning)
4. Act One, Scene Two (conclusion)
5. Act One, Scene Three (beginning)
6. Act One, Scene Three (conclusion)
7. Prelude
8. Act Two, Scene One (beginning
9. Act Two, Scene Two (beginning)
10. Act Two, Scene Two (conclusion)
11. Act Two, Scene Three
12. Act Two, Scene Four (beginning)
13. Act Two, Scene Four (conclusion)
14. Act Two, Scene Five
15. Prelude
16. Act Three, Scene One (beginning
17. Act Three, Scene Two (beginning)
18. Act Three, Scene Two (conclusion)
19. Act Three, Scene Three (beginning)
20. Act Three, Scene Four (conclusion)

Customer Reviews (5.00 Stars) 1 person(s) rated this product.

Keilberth Wagner - Buy It!

posted on 07/26/2010
5 Stars
Reviewer: David Speltz
I have boxes and boxes of Rings, and not the kind you put on your finger. This is the one I continually return to. The voices are at peak, the direction is what Wagner wanted, and the technical presentation is top notch. I love the Solti when I want boom boom acoustics. I want the Keilberth when I want to listen non stop through the entire opera. And to believe this was hidden from us for decades. It was worth the wait.

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