Friday, 18 August 2017

Wagner - The Ring Without Words - Maazel

Rating: 4/5

Wagner made bearable

I know that this is a rather shameful thing to confess, but I really don't like Wagner.  I've tried, really I have, but I cannot get on with him.  I'm pretty much with Rossini when he said "One cannot judge Lohengrin after on first hearing – and I certainly don't intend to listen to it a second time," and with person who said that Parsifal is an opera which begins at 6 o'clock and after it has been going for three hours you look at your watch and it says 6.20.  Knowing this, a friend sent me this disc and, while I'm not a convert, having listened to it I can at least see the point of Wagner.

Rossini also said that Wagner has some wonderful moments and some dreadful quarters of an hour, and this disc seems to contain quite a few of his wonderful moments.  I'm in no position to judge the quality of the interpretation, but the playing is very good and the recorded sound is nicely done, so if you're a Wagner sceptic like me, this may be a disc worth trying.  I shall certainly come back to it; I doubt that it will lead on to a love of Wagner, but it's a start.

Some true Wagnerians may regard this recording (and me, come to that) as a contemptible abomination, but I rather like it.

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