Goodall: Wagner - The Ring Cycle (16 CD box set, FLAC)
Goodall: Wagner - The Ring Cycle (16 CD box set, FLAC)

Performer: Derek Hammond-Stroud, Norman Bailey, Norman Welsby, English National Opera Movement Group, Ann Howard, et al.
Orchestra: English National Opera Chorus & Orchestra, English National Opera Orchestra, Sadler’s Wells Opera Orchestra
Conductor: Reginald Goodall
Composer: Richard Wagner
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 16 CD box set
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Label: Chandos
Size: 4.08 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

# Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold), opera, WWV 86a
Composed by Richard Wagner
Performed by English National Opera Orchestra
with Norman Welsby, Emile Belcourt, Clifford Grant, Helen Attfield, Lois McDonall, Katherine Pring, Norman Bailey, Derek Hammond-Stroud, English National Opera Movement Group, Anne Collins, Robert Ferguson, Robert Lloyd, Valerie Masterson, Shilagh Squires, Gregory Dempsey
Conducted by Reginald Goodall

# Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b
Composed by Richard Wagner
Performed by English National Opera Orchestra
with Sarah Walker, Ann Howard, Norman Bailey, Rita Hunter, Alberto Remedios, Clifford Grant, Anne Evans, Elizabeth Connell, Katie Clarke, Margaret Curphey, Anne Collins, Anne Conoley, Helen Attfield, Shilagh Squires
Conducted by Reginald Goodall

# Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c
Composed by Richard Wagner
Performed by Sadler’s Wells Opera Orchestra
with Derek Hammond-Stroud, Norman Bailey, Maurine London, Rita Hunter, Alberto Remedios, Clifford Grant, Barry Tuckwell, Anne Collins, Gregory Dempsey
Conducted by Reginald Goodall

# Die Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), opera, WWV 86d
Composed by Richard Wagner
Performed by English National Opera Orchestra
with Norman Welsby, Derek Hammond-Stroud, Rita Hunter, Alberto Remedios, Anne Evans, Gillian Knight, Margaret Curphey, Anne Collins, Helen Attfield, Aage Haugland, Valerie Masterson, Katherine Pring, Shilagh Squires
Conducted by Reginald Goodall

English lifts the fog over Wagner’s Ring

Having heard this cycle on the radio in England back in the 1970s, I am thrilled to see it on CD, in brilliant sound on Chandos, at a reasonable price. Three big positives. First, Goodall’s slow tempi (resulting in 5 CDs instead of the usual 4 for Gotterdammerung, for instance) make every note audible, and allows one to explore once again the magic of Wagner’s complex score. The ENO orchestra plays beautifully, with the transparency that comes from a live performance. Secondly, the English text, an excellent translation by Andrew Porter, is lucid, and in fact an improvement on Wagner’s own turgid libretto. Understanding the convoluted and somewhat inane plot as it unfolds, I think, will attract new listeners, and also bring back some who gave up trying to figure out what is going on. And thirdly, the singing. Rita Hunter, Alberto Remedios and Norman Bailey, are superb, equal to their counterparts in the Boehm and Solti recordings of the Ring. The only disappointment is Aage Haugland, the Hagen in the Twilight of the Gods (Gotterdammerung). An otherwise fine actor-singer (listen, for example, to the award-winning recording of Nielsen’s ‘Maskarade’ under Ulf Schirmer), Haugland is totally miscast here, a blemish on an otherwise perfect recording. Listening to the 16 CDs is a rediscovery of great musical theatre, no matter how silly the story.

11 Comments

  1. Conducting is absolutely spectacular! Sham about the English language but it’s part of the deal, I guess. Thank you so much for this!

  2. The idea of an English Ring is so quirky, and yet, what a fantastic recording. Goodall truly delivers the goods. Thank you for the post.

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