2013 sees a series of Wagner reissues on Eloquence from complete operas and highlights to Wagner singer portraits and even an audiobook!
Reissued for the Wagner Year are highlights from Herbert von Karajan’s mighty ‘Ring’ cycle. The disc includes extended highlights from the four ‘Ring’ operas and allows us to sample Karajan’s choice of different singers for the same character in different operas – Fischer-Dieskau’s Wotan in Das Rheingold and Thomas Stewart’s in Siegfried. There are notes on the music as well as an essay by Karajan expert Richard Osborne on the background to Karajan’s Ring, as well as a photo gallery of many of the key singers. There were and will always be many competitive Ring cycles on the market, but, as Martin Baker sums up ‘[Karajan] creates […] a transparent aural stage where the light and shade in the music has an almost forensic quality. Musically the Karajan Ring cycle has a visceral intensity that, especially in the subterranean scenes, hints at the sinister mythologies that informed Germany’s recent history and is probably closer to the heart of the narrative’s darkness than any other recording.’