50 years since Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker stepped inside Jesus-Christus-Kirche in Berlin to record Wagner’s masterpiece, Deutsche Grammophon proudly presents the entire Ring on one single High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray disc with an extensive hardback book containing the full libretti in original German with English translations.
According to Karajan’s own account, it was during the summer of 1965, while he was working on Boris Godunov, that he had a vision of the future: “I suddenly sensed a burning desire to stage and conduct Wagner in Salzburg.” His dream – very much in the spirit of Wagner himself: “My baton shall teach future ages which road they have to take.”
Karajan’s Wagner was concerned with beauty, lyricism and structure, and for his monumental Ring cycle he assembled a world-class cast of singers who possessed instrumental tone and were able to deliver a vivid and clear declamation of the text; and his Berliner Philharmoniker were more than capable of rising to the occasion.
The entire Karajan Ring in lossless 24-bit / 96kHz HD Audio on one Blu-ray Audio disc. The new remastering was done by the Emil Berliner Studios in 2016.
Deluxe 400-page hardback book edition in a slipcase, with original cover art
Complete German libretti, full English translations + detailed repertoire notes from the original releases and notes on the recording sessions.
Rare artist photos from the recording sessions and from the rehearsals for the live Salzburg productions.
“Weber was the first composer with a sense of living nature which goes through all Wagner’s work. If you do not carry this sense of the identity of music and nature you are not telling the truth to the audience. What is the Ring in the end but a parable of violated nature?” -Herbert von Karajan
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Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Wotan), Zoltán Kelemen (Alberich), Josephine Veasey (Fricka),Gerhard Stolze (Loge), Erwin Wohlfahrt (Mime), Martti Talvela (Fasolt), Karl Ridderbusch(Fafner), Donald Grobe (Froh), Simone Mangelsdorff (Freia), Helen Donath (Woglinde), Edda Moser (Wellgunde), Anna Reynolds (Flosshilde)
Régine Crespin (Brünnhilde), Thomas Stewart (Wotan), Gundula Janowitz (Sieglinde), Jon Vickers (Siegmund), Martti Talvela (Hunding), Josephine Veasey (Fricka), Danica Mastilovic (Helmwige), Carlotta Ordassy (Ortlinde), Liselotte Rebmann (Gerhilde), Ingrid Steger (Waltraute), Barbro Ericson (Siegrune), Helga Jenckel (Rossweisse), Cvetka Ahlin (Grimgerde), Lilo Brockhaus (Schwertleite)
Jess Thomas (Siegfried), Thomas Stewart (Der Wanderer), Gerhard Stolze (Mime), Helga Dernesch (Brünnhilde), Karl Ridderbusch (Fafner), Oralia Dominguez (Erda), Catherine Gayer (Waldvogel)
Helga Dernesch (Brünnhilde), Helge Brilioth (Siegfried), Karl Ridderbusch (Hagen), Zoltán Kelemen (Alberich), Thomas Stewart (Gunther), Gundula Janowitz (Gutrune), Christa Ludwig(Waltraute), Liselotte Rebmann (Woglinde), Edda Moser (Wellgunde), Anna Reynolds (Flosshilde), Lili Chookasian (First Norn), Christa Ludwig (Second Norn), Catarina Ligendza (Third Norn)
Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan
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“The artistic result is extraordinary (with a wonderful BPO and Karajan on the very top level) -- but what strikes me even more is the wonderful sound quality of these recordings.” - GRAMOPHONE, 2005
“A superb work of art in itself, aided by some brilliant playing from the Berlin Phil.” - BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, 2008
‘[Karajan] creates […] a transparent aural stage where the light and shade in the music has an almost forensic quality. Musically the Karajan Ring cycle has a visceral intensity that, especially in the subterranean scenes, hints at the sinister mythologies that informed Germany’s recent history and is probably closer to the heart of the narrative’s darkness than any other recording.’ - Martin Baker