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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Georg Solti Blu-ray

United States
Limited Edition w/ 12" Book | Blu-ray Audio / Blu-ray + CD Decca | 1958-1964 | 1020 min | Not rated | Oct 30, 2012

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Georg Solti (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-2
Resolution: 480i
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Audio
German: LPCM 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles
None

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Nineteen-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD, 17 CDs)

Packaging
Slipcover in original pressing
Figure/replica/props/memorabilia included

Playback
Region A (B, C untested)

Price
List price: $299.98, Price history
Amazon: $288.17 (Save 4%)
New from: $224.39 (Save 25%)
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Buy Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Georg Solti on Blu-ray

Movie rating
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Blu-ray rating
Video 2.5 of 52.5
Audio 5.0 of 55.0
Extras 5.0 of 55.0
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Movie appeal

 
Music100%
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popularity
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Georg Solti

 (1958-1964)

Georg Solti's complete iconic recording of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen on 1 lossless 24-bit Blu-ray Audio Disc exclusive to this edition, or 14CDs, plus:

• Double CD of Deryck Cooke's Introduction to the Ring
• CD of various Wagner overtures and orchestral works
• DVD of The Golden Ring - the BBC documentary about the making of the recording.
• Facsimiles of pages from Solti's rehearsal edition of the Ride of the Valkyries (exclusive to this edition)
• The Ring Resounding - John Culshaw's account of the entire project from inception to completion (exclusive to this edition)
• 5 exclusive art prints of photographs from the recording sessions (exclusive to this edition)
• 40 page brochure with facsimiles of the original Gramophone reviews and the adverts that were placed for the original releases (exclusive to this edition)
12" x 12" Hardcover book

For more about Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Georg Solti and the Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Georg Solti Blu-ray release, see Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Georg Solti Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.

Starring: Kirsten Flagstad, Birgit Nilsson

» See full cast & crew


Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Georg Solti Blu-ray, Video Quality

  2.5 of 5


Giving this largely audio only experience a video score of any kind is slightly misleading, but there is one DVD included here which features the fascinating 1965 BBC documentary The Golden Ring. This black and white outing looks about like what you'd expect a television piece of this vintage to, with decent contrast and clarity, but a lot of ragged edges here and there, including some skips and jumps and in a couple of scenes some annoying high pitched audio interference.


Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Georg Solti Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  5.0 of 5


Say what you will about the supposed "sterility" of modern day digital recording techniques, if a WAV file is committed to a hard drive or other storage medium, it takes a rather major misstep for the contents of that file to suffer anything akin to the age related degradation that regularly accompanies analog masters of old. And that's the bad news about this release—Decca did indeed try to go back to the original masters to "start from scratch" for this commemorative project, only to discover that they had degraded too far to be used. Luckily several generations of submasters had been created in the many decades since the original recordings, and it was quickly ascertained that the 1997 remastering (done by one of Culshaw's assistants on the original recordings) would make a suitable new starting place for this latest version. There isn't a glut of technical information on what was done to these, other than a sort of generic reference to Decca using the "latest technology" to get at the purest sound available, as well as to correct a couple of errors in previous versions, including a sloppy edit point and a dropped measure.

If you want a thumbnail sketch of the varying storage capacities of CDs versus BDs, simply compare the fact that The Ring spans 14 CDs in this set and one (yes, one) BD. I frankly had so much material to get through to give a time sensitive review of this set that I didn't spend too much time on the CD versions. I can state that they compare very favorably to the 1997 "red box" Decca release, with appreciably greater dynamic range and a much more fulsome low end.

The real revelation here is the lossless audio on the BD. Now I am the first to state that The Ring would not be my first choice in how to while away 15 hours or so of listening time, but I was instantly transported into a fantastic sound world on this audio Blu-ray and found myself lost in a swirling stream of sonic color (I guess there's a reason it's called Rheingold). There is simply no comparing the audio on this Blu-ray to any previous version. It is immaculately clear and precise, with brilliant reproduction through all registers and an astounding sense of clarity. Fidelity is nothing short of superb. The Vienna Philharmonic's commanding brass section is blisteringly represented here, but there's also an almost lascivious quality to the strings in these performances, and it all bursts out of the speakers with gorgeous fluidity and nuance.


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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Georg Solti Blu-ray


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