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Subject: Re: Krauss 1953 Bayreuth Ring - Which Release?
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Sat, 21 Oct 2017 15:19:44 -0400
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Christopher Weimer wrote:

"Which version do the group's Wagnerites favor of the 1953 Bayreuth Ring
under Krauss?  Archipel?  Opera d'Oro?  Orfeo?  Pristine?  Pros/cons?"

Both the Orfeo and the Pristine versions (I have both) are excellent, if a bit different.  
Orfeo's is a "straight" mono sound, very clear and with good presence, almost like a studio 
mono recording from that time.  Pristine applies what it calls "ambient stereo" to the 
recording, which is not as artificial as it sounds; it is not true stereo but gives the 
impression of stereo by spreading the sound over two speakers in a stereo channel effect.  
(Completely different from the awful "enhanced stereo" recordings that came out on Everest 
in the '60s.)  It does open up the sound somewhat, IMO, and I like it.  But you should listen 
to a sample first before buying.  (Pristine offers the recording in mono as well; I have not 
heard it.)  You can hear an extended sound sample of the ambient stereo version here (the 
Dawn duet and Rhine Journey from Gotterdammerung):

https://www.pristineclassical.com/collections/artist-clemens-krauss/products/pabx004

I have not heard the Opera d'Oro or Archipel editions, but based on my experience with 
those two labels, I would avoid them, the former in particular.  (Yes, Opera d'Oro is cheap, 
but frequently you get what you pay for.)  Neither the Orfeo nor the Pristine are cheap.  But 
as this is one of the greatest Ring cycles available on disc, IMO it is worth getting the best.  
This is a Ring to live with.  Depending on your sonic tastes, you can't go wrong with either 
the Orfeo or the Pristine. 

(Another feature of the Orfeo is that it is a commercially produced CD set, rather than a 
download, if that matters to you.

MDW  

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