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Subject: Re: AC's Question about Solti
From: "A.C. Douglas" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:A.C. Douglas
Date:Sun, 29 Mar 2009 16:32:09 -0400

text/plain (51 lines)

"Joe OConnell" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>AC asks, "Why is it, we wonder, that . . .  after hearing a reading of any
>of the Ring operas by any conductor working today one feels impelled
>irresistibly to reach for the Solti recording?"

In Mr. O'Connell's above elided quote of mine he omits my pointed exception
of Christian Thielemann from my "any conductor working today" remark.

The above, just for the record.

On the related subject of Wagner performance generally,

"M. Rommel" wrote:

>It is interesting to read these comments on Das Rheingold, just as it is to
>sit down and compare the recordings that have so far been mentioned. As to
>the questions about tempi and 'emotion', there is an indispensable book on
>the tetralogy: it is Heinrich Porges, Wagner: Rehearsing the 'Ring': An
>Eye-Witness Account of the Stage Rehearsals of the First Bayreuth Festival.

The Porges book is indeed "an indispensable book on the tetralogy." As I
wrote in a lengthy 2004 post on S&F concerning that book ("Firsthand Witness:
Wagner Rehearsing the _Ring_" which can be read in full at URL: ):

"[N]o conductor, no producer, no director, no singer, no scenic designer, no
anyone ought to be permitted to have anything to do with a production of the
_Ring_ before first committing to memory and total understanding what Porges
records in this book, and then swearing a sacred oath to never, on pain of
horrid mutilation and death, depart from what's there written, remembering
that what Porges recorded were *Wagner's* directions and insights on the
_Ring_ and its performance, not his own."


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