You are here

Log in or register to post comments
rvance
rvance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: Sep 8 2007 - 9:58am
Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

If anyone's interested in this version on vinyl, it's available here.

I've purchased from this party before with good results.

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

Thanks for the link... I see that the seller is one of the co-founders of Nitty Gritty?!? I'm pretty sure the records are CLEAN!

The Bohm cycle is a great cycle, gets the structure of the cycle, more so than the Solti. Still, my money's on the Keilberth as the desert island Ring, and Knappertsbusch is my sentimental favorite.

rvance
rvance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: Sep 8 2007 - 9:58am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

Hey sd, I'm still working out Also Sprach Zarathustra and Nietzsche's Superman. I don't have the courage to tackle the Ring. I have way too much to learn about classical music...

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

rvance, you're taking a really interesting route to Wagner, which is through intellectual history! I think Nietszche will give you a personal/historical angle from which to approach Wagner, which will definitely enrich your understanding of the music in intellectual context. Frankly, there are too many Wagnerites who attend the Ring just to see if the tenor singing Siegfried in Gotterdamerung will keel over and die or not, a spectator sport.

Wagner looms over Nietzsche as an intellectual/philosophical mentor in N's early years, but read Nietzsche contra Wagner or the critique of Die Meistersinger in Beyond Good & Evil (the opera that had young Nietzsche mesmerized), and you'll see the simple importance of Nietzsche vs. Wagner: it's the debate between what is the new order & what is old guard, what is modern and what is dead, and what is lasting Art and what passes away.

Important thing in approaching Wagner via Nietzsche is to always take in Nietzsche with a dose of skepticism; his prose & thoughts are so powerfully stylized & formulated that they can sort of lull you into the validity of his belief system, but once you start to wade into Wagner's musical world, you'll be presented with the powerful counter-evidence.

Should be fun!

P.S. - As for actually getting into the operas, take it slow. I wouldn't recommend starting with the Ring, but with others, i.e. Tristan, Meistersinger, Lohengrin, etc. One reason is you'll pick up important motifs, with repeated listenings of these single operas, which will recur in The Ring, too. Then you'll have some kind of a referent to which you can turn & contemplate, and The Ring will seem less daunting. After The Ring, then go to Parsifal, W's last opera.

I also recommend seeing the operas first, even if just for mnemonic purposes - so many characters, entire worlds! Obviously one can't catch a Wagner opera at will, but there are so many DVDs at your service. After familiarizing yourself with the operas, you can listen to your pristine LPs of the Bohm or the Solti sets of The Ring at night, with lights dimmed, and what you saw will be resurrected in your mind, mingling with your thoughts & ideas, and then you'll TRULY see the appeal of wrestling with Wagner.

In this day & age of short attention spans, it'll be a challenge to find the time to tackle Wagner. Just don't get too ambitious... listen to one Act at a time to begin with. Or get some highlights of overtures & famous scenes (sacrilege!) so that when you listen through the actual operas, you'll recognize the 'landmarks' and signposts which will allow you to find your way easier as you get lost in the operas.

And after developing the jones for the real thing, take the pilgrimage to Bayreuth, man! I've yet to do this but after my babies grow up to a reasonable age, I'm flying over with the wife for sure.

rvance
rvance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: Sep 8 2007 - 9:58am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

selfdivider,

Thank you for the excellent outline and listening points for Wagner, which also seem applicable to a lot of classical work. Your response is much appreciated.

rv

Logan
Logan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 7:22pm
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl


Quote:

And after developing the jones for the real thing, take the pilgrimage to Bayreuth, man! I've yet to do this but after my babies grow up to a reasonable age, I'm flying over with the wife for sure.

Make sure you do the mandatory booking 10 years in advance first and trust that it comes up in the ballot.

And remember as you wallow in the philosophical complexities of Wagnerian opera that opera is basically absurd. The Ring is no less absurd than Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado. Only the music is different.

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

Well the caveat of "only music is different" is a pretty big difference between G&S and Wagner. I guess the premise of The Ring is absurd, but then what about literary works like Beowulf or The Odyssey, then, with cyclops and singing sirens? All artistic works premised upon myths are absurd, no? Doesn't mean they don't contain universal truths people can assimilate into their own, real lives.

Logan
Logan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 7:22pm
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

What "universal truths" from the Ring would you want to assimilate into your life? Marital infidelity? Breach of contract? Theft of gold? Incest? Murder? Rejection of one's grandfather? Sexual relationship with one's aunt? Ingestion of mind-altering substances? More infidelity and murder? Suicide by fire? Barely-disguised anti-Semitism and overt anti-dwarfism? Even Desperate Housewives doesn't go this far (so I am told).

I prefer absurdity - I can no more take this nonsense seriously than I can with the story of Il Trovatore. And the nice thing about the brand of nonsense encountered in the G & S masterpieces is that one can still be amused by it. I haven't had too many laughs from the Ring lately.

But the music is another matter.

Kal Rubinson
Kal Rubinson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 34 sec ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:34am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl


Quote:
I haven't had too many laughs from the Ring lately.

Even since Anna Russell, I always get a laugh or two.

Kal

rvance
rvance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: Sep 8 2007 - 9:58am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl


Quote:
What "universal truths" from the Ring would you want to assimilate into your life? Marital infidelity? Breach of contract? Theft of gold? Incest? Murder? Rejection of one's grandfather? Sexual relationship with one's aunt? Ingestion of mind-altering substances? More infidelity and murder? Suicide by fire? Barely-disguised anti-Semitism and overt anti-dwarfism?

There you go talkin' smack about my family and you don't even know me!

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl


Quote:
What "universal truths" from the Ring would you want to assimilate into your life? Marital infidelity? Breach of contract? Theft of gold? Incest? Murder? Rejection of one's grandfather? Sexual relationship with one's aunt? Ingestion of mind-altering substances? More infidelity and murder? Suicide by fire? Barely-disguised anti-Semitism and overt anti-dwarfism? Even Desperate Housewives doesn't go this far (so I am told).


As long as you're being such a literalist, Logan, do you notice you can ask most of these same questions about the Bible?

Well, I'm no one important or special enough to merit an examination of what I take from Wagner's music. So how about someone like W.E.B. DuBois, a pioneering Civil Rights activist and intellectual? So where do you think DuBois gets the idea of American black people rising above the Veil of racism by usurping cultural supremacy? Die Meistersinger. Read The Souls of Black Folk and you'll see that it's saturated with Wagner, including the pivotal moment in the story "Coming of John," when the moment that the black character feels entitled to the world that's forbidden to him coincides with his identification with Lohengrin. What the hell is an American black dude not so removed from the slavery generation doing by identifying with works by a racist German composer?

What about Artur Rubinstein, a Polish Jew, who says the love of his young years was Wagner's music, which he memorized and could play back on piano on call, which so shaped his intellectual and artistic life? And what about scores of other musicians and artists and writers at the turn of the 20th cent, and even now, of so many different races, who have the similar experience?

Yeah, I'm sure they all just want to interpret Wagner literally and have sex with their aunts and all hail Aryans.

I'm not saying Wagner is the be-all, end-all; I did mention Nietzsche, who saw Wagner's music as kitschy & hysterical, which is true to an extent. And see how Chaplin uses the same Lohengrin to a devastating effect in Great Dictator to illustrate anti-Semitism.

Which still goes further to prove the point that Wagner's music & ideas - whether you like it or not - are a part of cultural/philosophical history whose importance & relevance are undeniable. This larger history of different artists, poets, musicians & painters from all cultural and racial backgrounds taking so much from Wagner goes to show that - despite whatever you may believe - W's music is much more multi-faceted & ambiguous than the simple caricature you present, some kind of anti-Semitic Desperate Housewives.

I'm happy that you like Gilbert & Sullivan but to impose your idiosyncratic and tiny expectations willfully on a work seems pretty petulant. Why should you expect to laugh when a work isn't designed to make you laugh? Do you go and watch Citizen Kane when you feel like watching Buster Keaton dangling from a clock tower?

Logan
Logan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 7:22pm
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

Thanks Self-Divider for the Philosophy 101 lecture, but you should start by reading what I wrote.

I'm sure I'll annoy not a few readers by proclaiming that I hold the writings of the Bible, Koran, Torah. Book of Mormon, Principles of Scientology, and whatever other sacred book you espouse in the same esteem as I accord to the half-baked nonsense presented by Wagner as the plot of the Ring. The same applies to W.S. Gilbert.

The fact that Wagner was an anti-Semite does not stop me from listening to and being inspired by his music, just as it did (does) not prevent Bernstein and Barenboim to name just two prominent Jewish musicians from playing it. The former was quoted as saying that he loathed Wagner and all that he stood for, but loathed him on his knees, or words to that effect.

But you've forced me to review my opinion that all opera is absurd. I've now decided that the Verdi operas based on Shakespeare - Macbeth, Otello, and Falstaff - are exceptions to this universal truth.

rvance
rvance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: Sep 8 2007 - 9:58am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

Hey Logan, it's not your pedestrian ideology that annoys, but rather the way you injected your laments into a pleasant conversation.

The fact that you hold any philosophy in contempt doesn't warrant attacking selfdivider's attempt to shed a little light on my corner. If you had the tools to engage sd on an intellectual level, you wouldn't have had to cop out with your feeble reply. The wise man knows when to shut up and listen.

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

Well didn't want to lecture or come off as being pedantic, Logan. Just wanted to add a bit more balance b/c your account of Wagner's music seemed hyperbolically cartoonish. I'm not trying to sell anyone on the plot of The Ring or the accounts in the religious texts; but any work of art works analogously, not via literal transmission of the plot. That's all. Too bad that Wagner doesn't work for you but I'm happy that you're fond of Verdi.

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Karl Bohm's Der Ring on Vinyl

I'm in the Mark Twain category of Wagner listener...

"Wagner's music is better than it sounds."

I love that quote because you really do kind of have to know what Wagner was up to, musically, to really 'relax' and enjoy it.

I've sat through some listening marathons of The Ring and like it OK. I think Coppola stole more than just Ride of the Valkyries in making "Apocalypse Now!"

Anyway, I wanted to catch the new cycle at the L.A. Opera this past year directed by Achim Freyer.

Here

This next picture actually looks like how the music sounds to me. Fascinating...

Google images from this production and see if it doesn't look amazing!

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading