Discussion:
Knappertsbusch - Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg - Vienna State Opera 1952 - Decca Eloquence
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Nicholas G
2016-11-02 22:12:31 UTC
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This is going to be released in December, remastered (I assume). I have never heard it and have not read many comments about it.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MDP6H5E/

Is there a critical consensus?
w***@gmail.com
2016-11-02 22:23:53 UTC
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Post by Nicholas G
This is going to be released in December, remastered (I assume). I have never heard it and have not read many comments about it.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MDP6H5E/
Is there a critical consensus?
It was actually recorded in 1950 and issued on Decca originally in three boxes on 7 LPs then put into one box on 6 LPs. Then reissued in the 70s on 5 Lps. It has already been nicely remastered on Naxos although it remains with the voices up front and there are some bad edits that were hard to correct one right at the end of the prelude. It has some real virtues esp Paul Schoffler who is so human and wise - a bit dry of voice but magnificent. Hilde Guden is a wonderful Eva and Knappertsbusch leads a very loving reading which culminates in one of the best Act Threes I ever heard. Problem for me is Gunther Treptow whose voice could use some distance and sounds often strained (but he always did). A set I frequently go back to that has a lot to offer
w***@gmail.com
2016-11-02 22:26:38 UTC
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Post by Nicholas G
This is going to be released in December, remastered (I assume). I have never heard it and have not read many comments about it.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MDP6H5E/
Is there a critical consensus?
It was actually recorded in 1950 and issued on Decca originally in three boxes on 7 LPs then put into one box on 6 LPs. Then reissued in the 70s on 5 Lps. It has already been nicely remastered on Naxos although it remains with the voices up front and there are some bad edits that were hard to correct one right at the end of the prelude. It has some real virtues esp Paul Schoffler who is so human and wise - a bit dry of voice but magnificent. Hilde Guden is a wonderful Eva and Knappertsbusch leads a very loving reading which culminates in one of the best Act Threes I ever heard. Problem for me is Gunther Treptow whose voice could use some distance and sounds often strained (but he always did). A set I frequently go back to that has a lot to offer
Also Anton Dermota is a great David and of you think that's a strange thing to say he is the only David I have ever heard on record or live who actually sings every note in his big act one scene exactly as written
Nicholas G
2016-11-03 12:54:32 UTC
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Great information, thanks.

I would imagine the sound quality on these new discs will be (much?) better than on Naxos, as Decca obviously has access to the master tapes. Naxos would have had to use LPs as their source.
w***@gmail.com
2016-11-03 23:08:46 UTC
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Post by Nicholas G
Great information, thanks.
I would imagine the sound quality on these new discs will be (much?) better than on Naxos, as Decca obviously has access to the master tapes. Naxos would have had to use LPs as their source.
One would hope though the prior Decca CD release of this performance was nothing special
wkasimer
2016-11-04 14:12:18 UTC
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I would imagine the sound quality on these new discs will be (much?) better than on Naxos, as Decca obviously has access to the master tapes. Naxos would have had to use LPs as their source. <
One would like to think so, but I don't believe that Australian Eloquence does much more than reissue from previously issued CD's - I don't believe that they go back to the master tapes, if they still exist for this Meistersinger. Wagnerfan is correct - the first Decca CD issue was listenable, but not particularly good sonically; to my ears, the Naxos sounds better.

As for the performance, the major selling points are Gueden and Dermota. Schoeffler, while highly experienced in the role, was well past his best - if you want to hear him, you're much better off with the 1943 Bayreuth performance under Abendroth (on Preiser or Myto). Treptow is virtually unlistenable as Walther.

So it's a Meistersinger for those of us who collect the opera voraciously. I wouldn't be among my top seven recordings (Solti 2, Sawallisch, Kubelik, Kempe 2, Karajan 2, Goodall, Haitink), mostly because of those casting issues. I'd place in the same category as Keilberth, Barenboim, and Solti 1 - all recordings with one or more strong cast members, but with one debilitating member.
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