Saturday 27 April 2013

Goodall Ring Cycle In English & Why Wagner Wanted It That Way

A few people have emailed asking if this is available on Spotify. After much searching (Spotify's search algorithms are not always the best. Although one suspects this maybe more to do with how poorly classical music is meta-tagged in general) we finally found it. We have thus created a playlist of the entire cycle and include it below.

"I hope you will see to it that my works are performed in English; only in this way can they be intimately understood by an English speaking audience." Richard Wagner Oct 22 1877

Perhaps never a first choice, it is worth listening to at least once. This is especially so if your German is not especially good - or none existent for that matter. There are of course those that believe Wagner should never be sung in anything but German. However, as noted in a quote from Wagner, he seemed very keen for his libretto to be translated and sung in a countries local tongue.

That quote is taken from a letter written by Wagner to Melbourne resident Emil Sander. As noted by the Wagner Society Of New York:

"...a local resident Emil Sander wrote to Wagner to inform him of this noteworthy event (premiere of Lohengrin in Melbourne) -a fact recorded by Cosima in her diary. The entry for 21 October 1877 reads: "He receives a letter from a theatre director in Melbourne, according to which Lohengrin last month made its ceremonious entry there, too." The following day, Wagner replied to Sander as follows:

My very dear Sir,

I was delighted to receive your news, and cannot refrain from thanking you for it.

I hope you will see to it that my works are performed in English; only in this way can they be intimately understood by an English-speaking audience. We are hoping that they will be so performed in London.

We (that is, I and my family) were extremely interested to see the views of Melbourne which you sent me: since you were kind enough to offer to send us more, I can assure you that I should be only too delighted to receive them.

Please give my kind regards to Herr Lyster, and, however remote your part of the world may be, continue to be so well disposed towards

Your most grateful servant,

Richard Wagner.

The full article, can be read at the Wagner Society New York's website by clicking here. Recommended

The Goodall Ring Cycle
Sung in English (translation by Andrew Porter)

Review from Michael Tanner for the BBC:

At roughly the same time that the Boulez Ring was being conceived, in London a starkly different enterprise was under way: a recording of staged performances, under the by then legendary Reginald Goodall, with English National Opera. He favoured extremely broad tempi, coached the singers for years in their roles, loved every note and yet had a sovereign concern for the architecture of the whole structure. There may be a lack of international stars in this set, but the singing is never less than adequate, and Alberto Remedios and Rita Hunter as Siegfried and Brünnhilde are wonderful and very moving. Andrew Porter's translation has weathered the years very well. It sounds implausible, but this is one of the greatest achievements of Wagner interpretation on disc, and is indispensable for probing the depths and details of the inexhaustible work. 


The Rheingold

Norman Bailey (Wotan), Derek Hammond-Stroud (Alberich), Emile Belcourt (Loge), Katherine Pring (Fricka), Robert Lloyd (Fasolt), Clifford Grant (Fafner), Gregory Dempsey (Mime), Lois McDonnall (Freia), Anne Collins (Erda), Norman Welsby (Donner), Robert Ferguson (Froh), Valerie Masterson (Woglinde), Shelagh Squires (Wellgunde), Helen Attfield (Flosshilde)

The Valkyrie

Norman Bailey (Wotan), Rita Hunter (Brünnhilde), Alberto Remedios (Siegmund), Margaret Curphey (Sieglinde), Clifford Grant (Hunding), Ann Howard (Fricka), Katie Clarke (Gerhilde), Anne Evans (Helmwige), Anne Conoley (Ortlinde), Elisabeth Connell (Waltraute), Sarah Walker (Siegrune), Shelagh Squires (Grimgerde), Anne Collins (Rossweisse), Helen Attfield (Schwertleite)


Alberto Remedios (Siegfried), Rita Hunter (Brünnhilde), Gregory Dempsey (Mime), Norman Bailey (Wanderer), Derek Hammond-Stroud (Alberich), Clifford Grant (Fafner), Anne Collins (Erda), Maurine London (Woodbird), Barry Tuckwell (horn)

Twilight of the Gods

Alberto Remedios (Siegfried), Rita Hunter (Brünnhilde), Aage Haugland (Hagen), Derek Hammond-Stroud (Alberich), Norman Welsby (Gunther), Margaret Curphey (Gutrune), Katherine Pring (Waltraute), Anne Collins (First Norn), Gillian Knight (Second Norn), Anne Evans (Third Norn), Valerie Masterson (Woglinde), Shelagh Squires (Wellgunde), Helen Attfield (Flosshilde)

English National Opera Orchestra, Sadler's Wells Opera Orchestra, Reginald Goodall
Recorded between 1975 and 1978