Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Golden Ring - The Making of Solti's Ring |
Wagner Ring Cycle
Actors: Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gottlob Frick, Claire Watson
Directors: Georg Solti, Humphrey Burton
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Watching the Vienna Philharmonic, Georg Solti, and a stellar cast record Wagner's immense Götterdämmerung for Decca in the fall of 1964 provides a thousand lessons in the art of working under pressure. For this classic doc... more »
Entertaining, informative, and just plain wonderful
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD consists of two separate contents.The first is the video documentary on the Goetterdaemmerung recordings as reported by the BBC in "The Golden Ring" production. The video is in black-and-white, and the sound is in (enhanced) pro logic. I found the sound of this feature to be quite forward, lacking detail, but of good quality (i.e., low noise). The subwoofer in my home theatre system is not active during this portion of the DVD.But then again, the real value of the documentary is in providing a snapshot of the great achievement of the Decca Ring cycle under Solti's direction and the masterful playing of the Vienna Philharmonic. Like other reviewers of this DVD, I also have the Solti ring in CD. The documentary contains sufficient detail to entertain and inform. It allowed me to get a different perspective of the true effort required to produce this magnificent work, and the vision of John Culshaw's production relative to the application of state-of-the-art technology in enhancing the listening experience.The second content of the DVD is a set of selections from some of the Ring operas in 5.1 surround-sound. The selections span all of the operas, with the orchestral standards (from the entrance of the Gods to Valhalla to the Immollation scene) extracted from the original Solti set. It is approximately another 70 minutes of material.The 5.1 version of these selections is nothing short of miraculous. The sound stage is full and airy. The quality is outstanding, beating my CD set hands down. It also captures the Vienna Philharmonic's sound with sufficient detail to reinforce Solti's observation of that orchestra's unique Wagnerian style.My only quip about this DVD is that it could also have been made a complement to the Solti Ring by including an analysis of the music. When the original Decca set was released, there was an additional set of an analysis of the Ring. It was a set of 4 LP's touching upon all the leitmotifs of the opera, weaving them in a wide expanse and adding to the operatic experience. It included actual Ring portions and orchestral passages (no doubt taken from some of the rehearsals) but thoroughly exposing the melodic infrastructure of this gargantuan work. The analysis is truly worthy of inclusion in this DVD, and would have added even more value to a truly wonderful effort."
Decca's High Priests of Perfection
Hudson Fair | Chicago, IL USA | 09/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A real documentary with planned and spontaneous interviews with the principals of this great landmark project. Solti called the Decca recording engineers, "high priests of perfection" and viewing John Culshaw and the other engineers as they put the project together is quite a good peek into the magic. Not only that, but good behind the scenes talks with the singers and Solti himself which enables the viewer to re-live the experience. The film is great at evoking the tension, drama and finally the achievement of making a landmark recording.
In comparison to the vhs version, this new dvd release has extra film footage and a lot of music besides. High quality sound rounds out this fantastic documentary."
Wonderful documentary of how a great recording was made
Dan Sherman | Alexandria, VA USA | 03/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a BBC TV documentary that takes us behind the scenes for the recording of the final opera of Wagner's Ring -- Götterdämmerung -- for Decca Records in the early 60s. The very engaging story behind the recording of the Decca Ring is presented in record producer John Culshaw's book "Ring Resounding," and this documentary is a nice complement to the book (which briefly discusses filming of the documentary). Culshaw's book made recording the Ring seem like commanding an army -- huge amounts of logistics and all manner of problems (not the least of which were tempermental singers). The documentary is hugely enjoyable as we see how several scenes in a great recording was made (and all the tension that ensued in making it). An added bonus of this DVD is that it includes a very generous (70-80 minutes) of audio highlights from the full Ring recording in Dolby Digital Surround Sound -- a bonus that really adds to the value of the DVD. Buy it an enjoy it!"
Historically significant and entertaining!
Dan Sherman | 05/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is actual black and white footage of the recording and interviews with the principles. Many argue that these recordings were and are the greatest ever of this cycle.
This is the equivilant of footage of The Beatles working on Sgt Peppers or Elvis in the Sun Studios laying down his first sessions...How often are we allowed to see the process of the creation of a masterpiece?
I feel very lucky that this is available...what are you waiting for?"