add to wish list | library

3 of 4 recommend this,
would you recommend it?

yes | no

Support this site by purchasing from these vendors using the paid links below. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.
  Eloquence -
  476 734-9
  Wagner: Famous Overtures and Orchestral Works - Böhm/Karajan/Kubelik
  Wagner: Famous Overtures and Orchestral Works

Berliner Philharmoniker
Wiener Philharmoniker
Karl Böhm (Bohm)
Herbert von Karajan (conductor)
Rafael Kubelik (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

read discussion | delete from library | delete recommendation | report errors
Related titles: 2

Reviews: 3

Review by peteyspambucket April 27, 2005 (10 of 10 found this review helpful)
For me, it goes without saying that these are Wagner excerpts from great interpreters of this music. The awful sound on this SACD so overshadows this release that, while I would give it 5 stars for performance, I didn't want the audio rating to get averaged in, giving the false impression that I was giving it 2.5 or 3 stars. I'm familiar with these performances and I like them very much, and they figured in my studying of these operas when I was in my teens.

I have to say that I think this SACD should be avoided except for those who are curious of how bad an SACD can sound. What DG seems to have done with these historic performances is put them through some kind of sound processor. There is absolutely no refinement in detail or sound quality to be derived from these recordings that you couldn't get from listening to the RBCD and hitting the "Surround effect" button on your receiver. It does not sound like they went back to the analog masters but rather, it sounds like they took a PCM remaster and remastered that. Horrid.

The sound on the Wagner is mushy, over-reverberant, diffuse, and harsh on the upper registers. The voices that appear in the Die Walkure excerpts sound awful and threadbare. Bass is virtually non-existant. The only place where it shows up a bit is in the Fliegende Hollander Overture. The rear channels just receive a perfunctory echo effect which is very consistently shrill and overdone, and sounds almost the same for all the tracks, giving the impression that they were all recorded in the same venue, which is not true.

In my opinion, an absolute tragedy. NOT RECOMMENDED!

Note: This sound quality actually follows suit with the other two recordings I have from this series (Verdi Requiem, Mozart Concertos, Beethoven 9th) and it does not bode well for me as a consumer if this is what I have to expect DG to do with their treasured archives. I'm upset that they have taken this attitude with their recordings. (I truly hope that the very expensive Japanese import SACDs do not have this same cavalier approach to the sound.)

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Review by Daland February 26, 2005 (6 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This bargain-priced compilation has apparently been released to show off the surround potential of the SACD although these were originally stereo recordings. The result is not wholly convincing. Compared to the original redbook versions there is an added sense of space and there is no congestion in the climactic scenes, which is a definite improvement. But in some of the items the sound is rather diffuse and less transparent and detailed than would be desirable (more like Dolby surround). Anyone listening to the Pentatone or Exton collection of Wagner pieces will notice the greater sophistication of these recordings.
In my opinion the Meistersinger prelude, the Funeral March from the Ring (obviously taken from Karajan's complete recording) and the Good Friday Music from Parsifal (previously not available on SACD) have been handled most successfuly. The surround effect is more pronounced in the Liebestod and Good Friday Music (although recorded in 1958) than in the Karajan items, for example. On the other hand, the extracts from Karajan's Ring are more focussed and brilliant. The rear speakers are used with restraint.
Apparently, original stereo tapes can be used as a basis for multi-channel recordings without compromising the artistic integrity of the material. The result may not please everyone, but this a commercially attractive option. I doubt, however, that Emil Berliner Studios will be able to match the quality of the Living Stereo or Mercury Living Presence series as they seem to suggest.
There are a number of favourite recordings available only on CD that I would like to enjoy in natural and uncongested sound. Stereo SACDs would be sufficient for me, but most people would probably prefer surround.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Review by SAUDIOFILO January 25, 2006 (3 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Simply my worst SACD, it sounds like a cassette.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Works: 7  

Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer, WWV 63
Richard Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, WWV 96
Richard Wagner - Die Walküre, WWV 86B
Richard Wagner - Götterdämmerung, WWV 86D
Richard Wagner - Lohengrin, WWV 75
Richard Wagner - Parsifal, WWV 111
Richard Wagner - Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90