Discussion:
Karajans Walkure Coming Back to Salzburg
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w***@gmail.com
2016-08-29 01:26:00 UTC
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Next years Salzburg Easter Festival will bring back the 1967 Walkure Schneider -Siemsen sets refurbished with a new director. They are calling it a new production which I am not sure it is but whatever - would like to see it since I missed it first time round
Bert Coules
2016-08-29 08:50:23 UTC
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If I remember aright, wasn't the Salzburg incarnation of
Schneider -Siemsen's design the final development after prior stagings in
various houses including Covent Garden?

Bert
w***@gmail.com
2016-08-29 19:15:17 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
If I remember aright, wasn't the Salzburg incarnation of
Schneider -Siemsen's design the final development after prior stagings in
various houses including Covent Garden?
Bert
I know it went to the MET after the Salzburg performances with adjustments for the narrower MET stage
Bert Coules
2016-08-29 21:33:05 UTC
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Come to think of it, it was the NY Met incarnation I was thinking of as the
final version. It's interesting that the Salzburg staging had more space:
the pictures certainly look spectacular. The earlier Covent Garden version
never quite managed to be as impressive, though as the first Ring I ever saw
it does have a fond place in my memory.
w***@gmail.com
2016-08-29 21:50:15 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
Come to think of it, it was the NY Met incarnation I was thinking of as the
the pictures certainly look spectacular. The earlier Covent Garden version
never quite managed to be as impressive, though as the first Ring I ever saw
it does have a fond place in my memory.
It was the Grosse Festspielhaus in Salzburg which has a very wide stage
r***@gmail.com
2016-08-29 23:24:50 UTC
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I saw this on the Met tour. This was the infamous dimly lit production; so much so that Birgit Nissan showed up at a rehearsal wearing a lighted miner's helmet. I ended up with a horrible headache and had to mooch pain relief medication from a sympathetic seat companion.
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-09-03 03:21:24 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
Come to think of it, it was the NY Met incarnation I was thinking of as the
the pictures certainly look spectacular. The earlier Covent Garden version
never quite managed to be as impressive, though as the first Ring I ever saw
it does have a fond place in my memory.
Depends how you mean "final" - he did at leat two others uch more recently, the first postwar Ring in Warsaw in 1990, which I saw and reviewed early in the life of Opera Now, and for the slightly peculiar little Wagner festival at Wels, only a few years before his death. Each one had similarities to the older concepts, not surprisingly, but were substantially different. In Warsaw's Wielki, a large and superbly equipped house, he had, for example, his main rostra flanked by scene towers in which the Norns stood, with their web stretching down into the action; and in Gotterdammerung, after an impeccably mythical three precursors, the Gibichung Hall was a sort of Art Deco palace of glass and steel, hewn out of the rock, populated by 1930s figures including a distinctly Nazi Hagen, whose sinister leather-coated goons surround the dying Siegfried on a grassy slope.
Wels is the company town of the Trodat rubber stamp, whose founding family seem to have originated the festival and sponsored the relatively small theatre, making a point of fairly sensible (not necessarily traditional) stagings. GSS's design there was altogether different, based on stepped platforms with stylized decor, Siegfried's forest for example. I may be able to find some pics.

I agree about the old CG Ring, Bert, and I know many others do too. I was told that it was deliberately designed as a magical Ring, so the Giants were tree figures, and so on. It gained greatly from the ring of rostra, which singers could use to increase their prominence or apparent size. Some of the magic was a bit duff, though, such as Alberich's disappearances, just backing into a nook and having the light go off. But against that was some superb casting. Incidentally, I always thought John Shaw's slow weighty hammer swing as Donner was brilliantly natural -- then he came up to Scotland and I discovered he was a fanatical golfer!*

Cheers,

Mike

*And a fiery-tempered one, with clubs flying all over the links!
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-09-03 03:25:53 UTC
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Totally forgot to address the main theme. If that's true, and I had already heard rumours, it's very good news indeed. A tide turning? Or just a new retro fashion, like rebooting old TV series? Who can tell... But I wish the ENO would restore the Koltai Ring, one of the finest reconciliations between fidelity and modernity I've ever seen -- though it would need a no less distinctive conductor and singers.

Cheers,

Mike
REP
2016-09-03 05:02:08 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Totally forgot to address the main theme. If that's true, and I had already heard rumours, it's very good news indeed. A tide turning? Or just a new retro fashion, like rebooting old TV series? Who can tell... But I wish the ENO would restore the Koltai Ring, one of the finest reconciliations between fidelity and modernity I've ever seen -- though it would need a no less distinctive conductor and singers.
Cheers,
Mike
I wouldn't get your hopes up. The original poster said that they were calling it a new production. That suggests to me that the new director is going to re-imagine the production in a way that makes it unrecognizable from the original. Which is pretty much what directors do these days.

REP
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-09-08 17:25:52 UTC
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Post by REP
I wouldn't get your hopes up. The original poster said that they were calling it a new production. That suggests to me that the new director is going to re-imagine the production in a way that makes it unrecognizable from the original. Which is pretty much what directors do these days.
REP
Deconstructed, no doubt. Or might he be going to reconstruct Karajan rehearsing it? Quite possible. The foul Christof Loy's recent Salzburg staging of Frau ohne Schatten simply "reconstructed" the 1955 Bohm studio recording sessions, with the final as a kitschy Christmas concert. It's available on DVD, and a thundering bore it is, a living demonstration that many Eurotrashy productions are cchiefly to save the producer any real effort.

Cheers,

Mike
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-09-24 02:07:45 UTC
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https://www.osterfestspiele-salzburg.at/.../bauprobe-fuer-die...

Hope that works; if not, I'll try again.

Cheers,

Mike
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-09-24 02:17:44 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
https://www.osterfestspiele-salzburg.at/.../bauprobe-fuer-die...
Hope that works; if not, I'll try again.
Hmm, not far enough. Try this:

https://www.osterfestspiele-salzburg.at/festival-programm-termine/bauprobe-fuer-die-walkuere-produktion-2017.html

Mike
Herman van der Woude
2016-09-24 09:25:16 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
https://www.osterfestspiele-salzburg.at/.../bauprobe-fuer-die...
Hope that works; if not, I'll try again.
https://www.osterfestspiele-salzburg.at/festival-programm-termine/bauprobe-fuer-die-walkuere-produktion-2017.html
Mike
This looks promising! But is only part of what an opera is, you need
good singers, a good conductor and a good director as well, to say this
simplified.
Let's hope, it works, and if it does so, let's hope that they will
release it on DVD!
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-09-24 22:38:28 UTC
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Post by Herman van der Woude
This looks promising! But is only part of what an opera is, you need
good singers, a good conductor and a good director as well, to say this
simplified.
Let's hope, it works, and if it does so, let's hope that they will
release it on DVD!
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Absolutely agree, and we'll have to watch with interest. After all, one does not just run out and get another Vickers and Janowitz from the nearest agent, let alone Karajan. Thielmann is conducting, definitely not my favourite and very far from the Karajan spirit, but he should be worth hearing. Producer is Vera Nemircova, who despite being Russian is very much into the current German way of doing things; her Lulu at Salzburg some years back was fairly dismal, but she also produced the last Frankfurt Ring, which isn't totally horrible, nothing like current Bayreuth style despite some scenic oddities. Who knows, she may even be glad of the excuse for doing something more straightforward! As for the casting, well, we'll have to see. In Frankfurt she had Eva-Maria Westbroek and Frank van Aken, another husband-and-wife team, so she might have them again.

Couldn't agree more about the DVD, too!

Cheers,

Mike
w***@gmail.com
2016-09-24 09:58:38 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
https://www.osterfestspiele-salzburg.at/.../bauprobe-fuer-die...
Hope that works; if not, I'll try again.
https://www.osterfestspiele-salzburg.at/festival-programm-termine/bauprobe-fuer-die-walkuere-produktion-2017.html
Mike
If its a success hopefully it would usher in an era of more sensible productions rather than irrelevant junk like the Castorf Ring
Bert Coules
2016-09-24 16:14:32 UTC
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Thanks for that, Mike. It does indeed look good, and certainly very
Schneider-Siemsenish. Was it just the Covent Garden incarnation of his
basic idea which had the moving "donut" as the central element or am I wrong
in linking that design to his others?
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-09-24 23:34:54 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
Thanks for that, Mike. It does indeed look good, and certainly very
Schneider-Siemsenish. Was it just the Covent Garden incarnation of his
basic idea which had the moving "donut" as the central element or am I wrong
in linking that design to his others?
It began with, I think, Wolfgang Wagner's "Scheibe" staging, a series of rostra which moved in various ways and angles, but could form a Ring-shaped unit. As everything Bayreuth did at that time, it was taken as a model by companies worldwide -- after all, few people would actually get to see the original in those pre-video days. Michael Knight's Scottish Opera designs were a typical example, and very good on the small stages available at that time. For CG Schneider-Siemssen modified the "saucer" to a ring of rostra, whose sloping surfaces could be moved around and exploited by the producer in various ways. At Salzburg, where the almost obscenely "wide-screen" stage was less easy to fill, it seems to me that he used one central circular unit and built upon it with promontories, sideslopes and swirling backdrops. His forest set is just a circular hump with an echoing circular spray of foliage overhead, and dim trunk projections behind; the Hall in Gotterdammerung echoes this with a stone-floored circle echoed overhead, whereas others have positive hillsides. He used a narrower, higher version of the same in Warsaw, where, like the later Met, he had the benefit of stages that slide in three dimensions, so he didn't need a single base shape for every scene. When he transplanted the Salzburg staging to the Met, I believe he simplified and narrowed it considerably, with much coarser results; his somewhat more realistic designs for the newer Met Ring were much better. The Wels one used stairs in some scenes, but since I don't know the theatre I can't say whether it dictated this.

S-S's Salzburg design sketches are beautiful, very much art in themselves in a somewhat 1950s style, with a common theme of swirling dynamics. A few have been reproduced, generally by DG, but I wish I could find more.

Cheers,

Mike


(The designs for Karajan's Rheingold film, though to a Salzburg soundtrack, were by someone else and less coherent visually.)
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-09-24 23:51:17 UTC
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I've come across some more about the Salzburg designs -- they were based on a fragmented ellipse, not a Ring, because of the width of that stage. He also did Ring designs for the San Carlo, Naples, and Bremen (his first, about the time I was born!), all on more or less disc or ring-shaped rostra.

At Wels he not only designed but produced the whole thing himself. It was also supposed to go to the theatre at Aix/Aachen, but I don't know whether it ever did. Wels itself, alas, was shut down in 2015 despite a long history of successes, being starved of funds by a hostile local authority. Sounds like Scotland....

Cheers,

Mike
Bert Coules
2016-09-28 10:27:47 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
At Wels he not only designed but
produced the whole thing himself.
I'd not heard of Schneider-Siemssen ever producing anything; that's
fascinating (and an unusual step for a designer, even such a noted one).
Thanks, Mike.

Bert
Bert Coules
2016-09-28 10:21:31 UTC
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My strongest visual memories of that Covent Garden Ring are two: the first
sight of Rheingold scene one as the curtain went up (the first time I'd seen
moving projections onto a full-stage scrim) and the moment in Siegfried act
three after Wotan's exit. With Siegfried standing stock-still at its
extreme down stage point, the giant "doughnut" slowly began to lift him up
through the projected flames: a stunning and highly dramatic moment.

That ring was a single circular construction which - unless I've forgotten -
didn't break up into separate sections. That must have been a later
refinement.

Bert
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-10-03 01:34:47 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
My strongest visual memories of that Covent Garden Ring are two: the first
sight of Rheingold scene one as the curtain went up (the first time I'd seen
moving projections onto a full-stage scrim) and the moment in Siegfried act
three after Wotan's exit. With Siegfried standing stock-still at its
extreme down stage point, the giant "doughnut" slowly began to lift him up
through the projected flames: a stunning and highly dramatic moment.
That ring was a single circular construction which - unless I've forgotten -
didn't break up into separate sections. That must have been a later
refinement.
Bert
No, you're right, the ring itself was solid, although it could tilt on raised supports. But there were movable rostra in its centre and at the sides, forming the different scenes -- rock columns for the Rhine and so on -- plus elements flown in (the Gibichung Hall pillars and so on) sometimes appearing to break up its surface, plus elements flown in from above. So it wasn't as stark as the segmented Bayreuth saucer. I should have said "a ring with rostra in it", or something like that.


Cheers,

Mike
Bert Coules
2016-10-03 08:28:03 UTC
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But there were movable rostra in its centre...
plus elements flown in (the Gibichung Hall pillars and so on)...
Ah yes, thanks for jogging my memory. Those pillars collapsed straight
downwards - perhaps the inspiration was the falling-brick-chimney or
skyscraper image - and the effect was almost, but not quite, very effective.
I remember wanting some localised dust rising up.

One more visual image has come back to me, sadly the weakest of the entire
cycle: Siegfried quite literally running rings (or at least one ring) round
a regrettably short and unfortunately limp snakes-head Fafner, flopping
about in the centre.

I should hunt up some pictures of that staging. My few criticisms really
amount to nothing: it was my first Ring in the theatre and its impact on me
was enormous.
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-10-05 09:59:18 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
But there were movable rostra in its centre...
plus elements flown in (the Gibichung Hall pillars and so on)...
Ah yes, thanks for jogging my memory. Those pillars collapsed straight
downwards - perhaps the inspiration was the falling-brick-chimney or
skyscraper image - and the effect was almost, but not quite, very effective.
I remember wanting some localised dust rising up.
Yes, Scottish Opera borrowed those pillars for its Ring! Very effective they were too on their smaller set, falling as you say. The Scots did add a lot of orange smoke, which would do for dust, as the floor split beneath them -- a bit too much smoke, as on the first night in the Glasgow Kings it spilled right down, filled the orchestra pit until only Gibson was visible and swiftly rose up the stalls to swallow him as well and most of the stalls. The next night they moderated it a little...
Post by Bert Coules
One more visual image has come back to me, sadly the weakest of the entire
cycle: Siegfried quite literally running rings (or at least one ring) round
a regrettably short and unfortunately limp snakes-head Fafner, flopping
about in the centre.
Schneider-Siemssen didn't seem to have much gift for dragons. The Salzburg one was just a large shapeless bulge and a sort of earthquake in the flat forest floor; the Warsaw one was a similar but relatively much larger bulge. The Met one, as most fo us have see, was that miserable rising panel with one eye, a beak and silly tentacles like something out of a 50s horror film -- very like the aliens in something called The Trollenberg Terror, in fact, which I recommend you avoid.
Post by Bert Coules
I should hunt up some pictures of that staging. My few criticisms really
amount to nothing: it was my first Ring in the theatre and its impact on me
was enormous.
Me too, though I saw less of it than the ENO and the Scots. They seemed to hit me more or less all together, along with a couple of Bayreuth rehearsals, all only months apart; in memory it feels like days. At CG it was the quality of the casting that hit me, and what I now realise was the ensemble. But also the projections, although the Scots had the best fire!

Cheers,

Mike
Bert Coules
2016-09-19 09:54:27 UTC
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A very belated reply to this. I'd dearly love to see the Koltai/Ornbo Ring
designs again (and to hear the Andrew Porter translation which I associate
so vividly with them) but part of me also thinks that memories should be
left as exactly that. The entire experience of those pioneering Rings can
never now be recaptured, either for the audience or the company, and a
revival which proved disappointing would be a bitter blow.

A new cycle with the same traditional/modern sensibilities would be a
welcome thing indeed, though I suspect they feel there's still economic and
practical life left in the current disappointing staging. My word, I wish
they'd junk the awful Jeremy Sams text though.
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-09-24 23:06:43 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
A very belated reply to this. I'd dearly love to see the Koltai/Ornbo Ring
designs again (and to hear the Andrew Porter translation which I associate
so vividly with them) but part of me also thinks that memories should be
left as exactly that. The entire experience of those pioneering Rings can
never now be recaptured, either for the audience or the company, and a
revival which proved disappointing would be a bitter blow.
I entirely take your point, Burt -- the perils of trying to recapture an experience are a rich feeding ground for philosophers. But even allowing for that, if I won the lottery, unlikely as I don't play it, recreating the ENO Ring would be my dream. Of course it wouldn't have the thrill of the original, or Remedios and Hunter and Bailey and all the rest, and of course Goodall, but I also saw it with several other conductors including Mackerras and Gibson, and many other singers, and it was still marvellous. Why shouldn't it be re-done with a similarly British or at least English-speaking cast? Say, Ian Paterson as Wotan, and maybe Michael Druiett, with one of several British or American Brunnhildes; Siegfried's more of a rarity, of course, but it would be worth a try, and there are any number of fine artists for the other roles. Conductor? Donald Runnicles, for me, but if you want a more Goodall-like experience Anthony Negus from Longborough or Sir Mark Elder, both Goodall assistants, or Richard Farnes from Opera North. As for the designs, I think they could be recreated. Koltai himself told me the actual models had decayed, but there are pictures enough and the people who built them are still around. You would not, certainly, have what we enjoyed, but then that wasn't a single experience, it was year after year and different every time. And there would be counterbalances; even with a fairly rounded Brunnhilde like Alwyn Meillor, we would be spared the spectacle of Rita Hunter lumbering around being chased by Remedios as Gunther, which was always the moment when my sense of humour got the better of my involvement. But I think, without exaggerated expectations we could recreate something that would still be worthwhile.
Post by Bert Coules
A new cycle with the same traditional/modern sensibilities would be a
welcome thing indeed, though I suspect they feel there's still economic and practical life left in the current disappointing staging. My word, I wish they'd junk the awful Jeremy Sams text though.
I agree, but how likely are we to get one? I think the key word is economic. I've always felt that the raison d'etre of so many modern productions is financial. When you analyse many "controversial" productions you find they're actually very simple things, under their splashy gestures, designed to save the producer both labour and imagination -- endless grubby modern suits -- and the company complex construction and storage costs. They're also designed to be cheap so they can be scrapped more readily as their sensations wear thin, which might have helped if ENO were not in such a state of "chassis" over the last year or two, as their spendthrift policies home to roost -- on Terry Gilliam productions, for example, fun as they can be. When, if ever, the company wakes out of its current state of shock, something new might be possible. But I suspect the hope might have moved to other festival-based companies such as Longborough and Glyndebourne, with their recent excellent track record, or even Garsington. If we're spared, we'll see!

Cheers,

Mike
Bert Coules
2016-09-28 12:07:06 UTC
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...I also saw [The ENO Ring] it with several other
conductors including Mackerras and Gibson...
Now that's something new to me. I followed that production and its fortunes
extremely closely and I had no idea that Alexander Gibson ever conducted it
or part of it.

I'd be really interested in the details, Mike.

Bert
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-09-28 18:01:43 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
...I also saw [The ENO Ring] it with several other
conductors including Mackerras and Gibson...
Now that's something new to me. I followed that production and its fortunes
extremely closely and I had no idea that Alexander Gibson ever conducted it
or part of it.
I'd be really interested in the details, Mike.
Bert
Theatre Royal, Newcastle, in the 1970s -- can't put my finger on the exact date right now, but it was probably quite early, because they gave up touring the Ring around 1975. Gibson, of course, had been the youngest ever music director of Sadlers Wells (just before Colin Davis), and one of the most outstanding; he had made his name in Wagner there with the Flying Dutchman production that preceded Mastersingers and the Ring, featuring Bailey (after David Ward), Hunter, Remedios and many of the other singers who were to make up the ENO Wagner company. He almost came back again as director n the late 1970s, according to the Reggie Goodall biography, when Mackerras quarrelled with the management. He was already a popular name in Newcastle with Scottish Opera, and so was a natural choice for the Northern performances; if anything did better in them than in his early Scottish Opera cycle.

Cheers,

Mike
Bert Coules
2016-09-28 20:33:35 UTC
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Mike, thanks so much for that: I saw the ENO Ring on tour on a couple of
occasions and at least one single opera on several more, but I certainly
didn't know that Gibson had ever taken the baton. I recall a Scottish Opera
Tristan at the Wells under him (with a rather peculiar Koltai set which
looked more like half a hard boiled egg than anything else) and that was
splendid. And of course he got great reviews for the Scottish Ring.

Bert
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-10-03 01:43:14 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
Mike, thanks so much for that: I saw the ENO Ring on tour on a couple of
occasions and at least one single opera on several more, but I certainly
didn't know that Gibson had ever taken the baton. I recall a Scottish Opera
Tristan at the Wells under him (with a rather peculiar Koltai set which
looked more like half a hard boiled egg than anything else) and that was
splendid. And of course he got great reviews for the Scottish Ring.
Bert
Yes, I was there for that, especially for Dernesch and Ward. Deb was seeing him on stage for the first time and he reduced her to tears. The night I went Gibson overran badly, we missed the last train back to Oxford and had to sit up all night in Paddington, then the only main station the IRA hadn't bombed (they got it a few weeks later). Then, thanks to one malevolent rail clerk, we missed the only other train we could have got, had to walk to Victoria with just enough money to catch a dawn bus and none for another bus home to North Oxford. So we walked that too, though St.Giles Fair, slightly surreal in hazy dawn sunlight, and arrived exhausted and starving. And we were *still* entranced by Tristan!

And it *did* look like a boiled egg. And the sun was a fetching green!

Cheers,

Mike
Bert Coules
2016-10-03 08:15:14 UTC
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Ah Mike, the travails of the Wagner fan! I can't match that, though I did
once sleep out on a camp bed on the pavement outside the Covent Garden box
office to get an on-the-day standing place for the final night of Solti's
farewell Tristan. And I was ill and dosed up to the eyebrows with Night
Nurse, and practically all I can remember of the show is vivid colours
melting into each other. Well, that and the flown-in Birgit Nilsson ruining
the staging of the Liebestod.

I'm still glad I did it, though.
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-10-05 10:46:09 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
Ah Mike, the travails of the Wagner fan! I can't match that, though I did
once sleep out on a camp bed on the pavement outside the Covent Garden box
office to get an on-the-day standing place for the final night of Solti's
farewell Tristan. And I was ill and dosed up to the eyebrows with Night
Nurse, and practically all I can remember of the show is vivid colours
melting into each other. Well, that and the flown-in Birgit Nilsson ruining
the staging of the Liebestod.
I'm still glad I did it, though.
Same thing happened to me for the 2009 Seattle Ring, and the flight over made it worse, gummed up my ears until my hearing went, left me weak as a kitten and clouded over my brain with, yes, Day and Night Nurse. I met a few of the group that time, but can't have made much of an impression! But likewise glad.

Sorry to all for turning this into personal reminiscences -- hard to avoid. As restitution and return to topic, here is, so far as I've found out, the only surviving film snippet of that original Salzburg Walkure, with Vickers and Janowitz:



I suspect the acting was a little livelier in the actual performance! I doubt it would be acceptable today.

Cheers,

Mike
Bert Coules
2016-10-05 14:21:52 UTC
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Fascinating. I'd like to know where that clip comes from. Interesting
sword-removal timing from Vickers: his or Karajan's, I wonder? Its
cleverness almost - but not quite - makes up for his expansive embracing of
a house of bright laughing spring which in texture and lighting looks more
like the inside of a cave.
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
I suspect the acting was a little livelier in the actual performance!
I'm not so sure. I think it's firmly in the Wieland "power of the static
body" mode and would probably have been much the same live.

Bert
w***@gmail.com
2016-10-05 16:34:39 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
Fascinating. I'd like to know where that clip comes from. Interesting
sword-removal timing from Vickers: his or Karajan's, I wonder? Its
cleverness almost - but not quite - makes up for his expansive embracing of
a house of bright laughing spring which in texture and lighting looks more
like the inside of a cave.
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
I suspect the acting was a little livelier in the actual performance!
I'm not so sure. I think it's firmly in the Wieland "power of the static
body" mode and would probably have been much the same live.
Bert
I don't think Hunding was that bad of a husband since he obviously gave Sieglinde money to go to the drug store and buy eye liner.
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-10-06 17:10:22 UTC
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Post by w***@gmail.com
I don't think Hunding was that bad of a husband since he obviously gave Sieglinde money to go to the drug store and buy eye liner.
Maybe to cover up the black eyes. But all stage makeup looks a bit like that on screen, especially the more elaborate old-fashioned kind -- look at the wealth of putty noses on old Bolshoi videos. Not to mention some of the bouffant wigs, and it's the men I'm talking about; Vickers isn't too bad here, but in Karajan's Otello film he looks as if he's got a hedge on his head. Thomas Stewart in his Rheingold film is similarly overdone, with never a hair stirring even in Donner's storm.

Speaking of which, I watched that last night upscaled onto a large higher-definition TV, and was more impressed than previously. Not only does it look superb, but the large screen makes some of the acting more effective. Brigitte Fassbaender especially is imperessively nervous as Fricka (as well as one of the most beautiful ones ever!), and even the wretched Vladimir de Kanel, miming Donner, comes alive from time to time. I wish he'd gone on to make more, but by the time he'd finally assembled a suitable cast he seems to have lost interest. (Although the peculiar stereo effects in his Tristan suggest that they were to match planned film shots...) If they do film this revival it might make up for that, a little. Although I must admit Janowitz, though a reasonable stage actress and goodlooking if you don't mind them god-size, had not a clue how to respond on film; perhaps Karajan would have dubbed in someone else to mime her. And who will we have today? Most of today's best Siegmunds, like Stuart Skelton, are nowhere heroic-looking enough for film as Vickers; Anja Kampe might be a very good Sieglinde, though, even in close-up.

The Rheingold direction too is rather slow at times, suggesting that Karajan's style on stage might have been also, as you say, Bert; although sometimes, as in Nibelheim, he moves more rapidly. But was Wieland really so static? I've only seen three Wieland stagings, one the Walkure film and the other two revived long after his death, but they seemed to me to be quite mobile, not as frenetic as some today but not at all slow-motion. I think his comment may have been relative, and aimed mostly at crux moments, when he keeps the characters steady to highlight the activity in the music. Or so it seems to me.

Incidentally, that remark about Hunding reminded me of a William Mann review of the Welsh National's Walkure, conducted by Goodall, in which Hunding gropes Sieglinde brutally in front of Siegmund, as a taunt. I was a little surprised to find Mann remarking that the production confirmed his view that Hunding wasn't so bad, by showing him as a loving and devoted husband!

Cheers,

Mike
w***@gmail.com
2016-10-06 17:17:16 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by w***@gmail.com
I don't think Hunding was that bad of a husband since he obviously gave Sieglinde money to go to the drug store and buy eye liner.
Maybe to cover up the black eyes. But all stage makeup looks a bit like that on screen, especially the more elaborate old-fashioned kind -- look at the wealth of putty noses on old Bolshoi videos. Not to mention some of the bouffant wigs, and it's the men I'm talking about; Vickers isn't too bad here, but in Karajan's Otello film he looks as if he's got a hedge on his head. Thomas Stewart in his Rheingold film is similarly overdone, with never a hair stirring even in Donner's storm.
Speaking of which, I watched that last night upscaled onto a large higher-definition TV, and was more impressed than previously. Not only does it look superb, but the large screen makes some of the acting more effective. Brigitte Fassbaender especially is imperessively nervous as Fricka (as well as one of the most beautiful ones ever!), and even the wretched Vladimir de Kanel, miming Donner, comes alive from time to time. I wish he'd gone on to make more, but by the time he'd finally assembled a suitable cast he seems to have lost interest. (Although the peculiar stereo effects in his Tristan suggest that they were to match planned film shots...) If they do film this revival it might make up for that, a little. Although I must admit Janowitz, though a reasonable stage actress and goodlooking if you don't mind them god-size, had not a clue how to respond on film; perhaps Karajan would have dubbed in someone else to mime her. And who will we have today? Most of today's best Siegmunds, like Stuart Skelton, are nowhere heroic-looking enough for film as Vickers; Anja Kampe might be a very good Sieglinde, though, even in close-up.
The Rheingold direction too is rather slow at times, suggesting that Karajan's style on stage might have been also, as you say, Bert; although sometimes, as in Nibelheim, he moves more rapidly. But was Wieland really so static? I've only seen three Wieland stagings, one the Walkure film and the other two revived long after his death, but they seemed to me to be quite mobile, not as frenetic as some today but not at all slow-motion. I think his comment may have been relative, and aimed mostly at crux moments, when he keeps the characters steady to highlight the activity in the music. Or so it seems to me.
Incidentally, that remark about Hunding reminded me of a William Mann review of the Welsh National's Walkure, conducted by Goodall, in which Hunding gropes Sieglinde brutally in front of Siegmund, as a taunt. I was a little surprised to find Mann remarking that the production confirmed his view that Hunding wasn't so bad, by showing him as a loving and devoted husband!
Cheers,
Mike
I was just joking of course. Regarding that Karajan Walkure Act One, both in the recording and the live performance at Salzburg, I always thought that it really didn't hang together as a unit though there were of course beautiful moments. The second and third acts though are really wonderfully conducted, both in long arches.
kevemaher
2016-10-01 01:15:27 UTC
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Post by w***@gmail.com
Next years Salzburg Easter Festival will bring back the 1967 Walkure Schneider -Siemsen sets refurbished with a new director. They are calling it a new production which I am not sure it is but whatever - would like to see it since I missed it first time round
I've recently started listening to this 1967 Walkure on CD. Very quiet and nuanced by Karajan, who is not a favorite. First time hearing Janowitz. Very impressive.

I obtained the CDs from Opera Depot, a very good and inexpensive online source for scads of Wagner Operas (and others), especially 60s through 80s. I have not seen most of his offerings anywhere else. Excellent mono sound. He makes each CD to order from a master source. All very above board and very legal.
Worth a look.

Kevin
Nicholas G
2016-10-01 20:28:43 UTC
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Just out of interest, what does "very legal" in this context mean?
Post by kevemaher
Post by w***@gmail.com
Next years Salzburg Easter Festival will bring back the 1967 Walkure Schneider -Siemsen sets refurbished with a new director. They are calling it a new production which I am not sure it is but whatever - would like to see it since I missed it first time round
I've recently started listening to this 1967 Walkure on CD. Very quiet and nuanced by Karajan, who is not a favorite. First time hearing Janowitz. Very impressive.
I obtained the CDs from Opera Depot, a very good and inexpensive online source for scads of Wagner Operas (and others), especially 60s through 80s. I have not seen most of his offerings anywhere else. Excellent mono sound. He makes each CD to order from a master source. All very above board and very legal.
Worth a look.
Kevin
kevemaher
2016-10-01 23:18:42 UTC
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Post by Nicholas G
Just out of interest, what does "very legal" in this context mean?
Post by kevemaher
Post by w***@gmail.com
Next years Salzburg Easter Festival will bring back the 1967 Walkure Schneider -Siemsen sets refurbished with a new director. They are calling it a new production which I am not sure it is but whatever - would like to see it since I missed it first time round
I've recently started listening to this 1967 Walkure on CD. Very quiet and nuanced by Karajan, who is not a favorite. First time hearing Janowitz. Very impressive.
I obtained the CDs from Opera Depot, a very good and inexpensive online source for scads of Wagner Operas (and others), especially 60s through 80s. I have not seen most of his offerings anywhere else. Excellent mono sound. He makes each CD to order from a master source. All very above board and very legal.
Worth a look.
Kevin
Sometimes people question the legality of small businesses selling old recordings. Afraid of bootleggers. I was making the point that Opera Depot is legit.
Kevin
Richard Partridge
2016-10-02 17:46:10 UTC
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Post by Nicholas G
Just out of interest, what does "very legal" in this context mean?
Post by kevemaher
Post by w***@gmail.com
Next years Salzburg Easter Festival will bring back the 1967 Walkure
Schneider -Siemsen sets refurbished with a new director. They are calling it
a new production which I am not sure it is but whatever - would like to see
it since I missed it first time round
I've recently started listening to this 1967 Walkure on CD. Very quiet and
nuanced by Karajan, who is not a favorite. First time hearing Janowitz. Very
impressive.
I obtained the CDs from Opera Depot, a very good and inexpensive online
source for scads of Wagner Operas (and others), especially 60s through 80s. I
have not seen most of his offerings anywhere else. Excellent mono sound. He
makes each CD to order from a master source. All very above board and very
legal.
Worth a look.
Kevin
I suppose it means the copying is done with the permission of the copyright
owner, any legally required royalty having been paid.

Dick Partridge
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