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Subject: Bayreuth's 1983 Solti Ring
From: Jim Jacobs <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:25:04 -0500
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Hello to the List,

I’ve been working my way through my public radio recording from Minnesota Public Radio of the Bayreuth broadcast with Georg Solti.  

It has the cassette side breaks with several seconds missing but I’ve listed to it in the car in 15 minutes segments as well as 3 hour segments.  I have tried to ignore the cast names to hear the performance.  I am aware that Manfred Jung is Siegfried and Hildegard Behrens is Brünnhilde.  

Minnesota Public Radio had a very good signal with clear reception; the recording is very good for home taping.  I’ve converted it to MP3 and transferred it to CDs with two operas on each disc.  

I also know the heat that summer was from hell as well as solar sources and the audiences sweated profusely.  There were descriptions of audience members removing as much clothing as possible.  There is also the Siegfried Horn blip at the beginning of Götterdämmerung Act 3 that made the audience laugh.  It was probably a case of sweaty lips on the horn player.

Yet, it is a terrific performance, and that has to be Solti.  His tempos always seem to be perfect, very similar to his Decca Ring recording, the singers are above average except for Jung, the orchestra plays very well, and the story moves right along.  It has been a valuable trip back to the 1980s of Bayreuth Wagner singing.  Behrens is outstanding, more so that at the Met.  I am sure the small Festspielhaus and acoustic was a big help.

I’m curious about the rest of the Wagner folks on the list.  Has anyone else listened to this lately?  I’d like to hear stories!

Auf Wiederschreiben!  Jim J.

Jim Jacobs
Raleigh, NC
USA
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