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Best Wagner recording on Spotify?
June 4, 2013
Inspired by the recent Stephen Fry Wagner documentary, I'd like to listen to some of his operas at work. What are the best recordings of them that are on Spotify?
Charlemagne In Sweatpants
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(2 answers total)
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Der Fliegende Hollander
conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch at the Bayreuth Festival. (This is an aircheck of a radio broadcast from 1955, so if you want something in more up-to-day sonics, try the studio version by Giuseppe Sinopoli.)
conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch, either the concert performance on the Opera d'Oro label, or else a much earlier live recording from Bayreuth featuring Grace Bumbry, who was the first African-American to sing at this Wagner shrine.
: the Rudolf Kempe recording is an undisputed classic.
Tristan und Isolde
. Several great, though very different recordings of this masterpiece include the Furtwangler with Kirsten Flagstad on EMI (majestic), the Karl Bohm version featuring Birgit Nilsson (feverish) and the Carlos Kleiber (delicately dreamlike.) Of great historical importance is an earlier recording with Flagstad partnered with Lauritz Melchior, perhaps the most famous operatic teaming of the 20th century. They are heard on a live 1936 broadcast from the Met conducted by Artur Bodanzky in a newly restored edition released just this past month.
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
is a bit problematic on CD, but the von Karajan recording from Dresden is attractive and musical.
Der Ring des Nibelungen
's definitive recording, conducted by Georg Solti for Decca, is not on Spotify, so I would turn to the Bohm recording from Bayreuth (also on Decca) or the more modern version led by Christian Thielemann, one of the two or three greatest among the current generation of Wagner maestros.
can go two ways: for gripping music drama (though only okay sonics) go with the Knappertsbusch performance from 1956; for the most glamorous and luxe sound imaginable, choose the James Levine studio recording boasting Placido Domingo and Jessye Norman in leading roles.
on June 4, 2013 [
The Solti Ring is on Spotify, in three identical issues (individual operas,
the full set
and as part of the Solti: Complete Wagner box).
And I personally might recommend the recent
Parsifal under Gergiev
with Gary Lehman and Rene Pape (though the Kna is also amazing and I should listen to the Levine again).
on June 5, 2013
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