Richard Wagner!!

flipflop

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I've got a few operas but not a full Wagner one yet - sure it'll happen eventually though. Plenty of his themes are ingrained in popular culture - not least over here.
 

LG

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I have tried Jackory, not with Wagner so much but Rossini, Verdi, Mozart, and a few others but I just have a hard time with the singing. I don't speak Italian or German, just a little French but I do love the music without the singing. I almost bought an analog box 30 years ago that was specifically designed to "remove" the vocals from opera records...:heheh: I didn't though, I might give The Ring a chance, of all the operas it seems to have the most depth to it.
 

jackory

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There is a world of difference between Italian opera and the Wagnerian stripe. I don't think Wagner even liked to have his works called "operas". I'm pretty sure his preferred term was "Drama with Music" or maybe it was "Musical Drama".

At any rate, it seems like the biggest hurdle most people have is the operatic singing. I don't know how it is with most people who like this kind of music, but it DID take me a long, long time to get used to the singing. Even now I don't think I'm to the point where I can actually say I appreciate each individual singer's voice and I don't know that I'll EVER "prefer" it to more conventional vocal styles. But I eventually did overcome it.

My two cents: definitely start with the Ring cycle. Don't worry about hearing it in it's entirety. Just break everything down into comfortable lengths, listen as often as you can so you can get the motifs set in your head. Once you have a grip on the motifs (not saying you have to know what they signify) the rest of it falls into place.
 

LG

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I will think about it Jackory...it is funny I Like chorale accompaniment in symphonic music, Lieders/Arias not so much. But I love Carmina Burana, it is so much fun so there is a little singing in my classical collection.

What version of "The Ring" do you recommend or have yourself?
 

Kuaizi

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Lord Grendel, I highly recommend the "Ring Cycle" version with Sir George Solti and Vienna Phil... It's amazing and the brass are phenomenal.
Amazon.com: Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen (Ring Cycle) / Sir Georg Solti: Sir Georg Solti, Wiener Philharmoniker, Vienna State Opera Choir, Kirsten Flagstad, Paul Kuen, George London, Jean Madeira, Ira Malaniuk, Gustav Neidlinger, Hetty Plumacher:

Check this out, simply amazing! The singing is beyond incredible:


Here is something else fun to watch.Solti and the CSO performing the Tannhauser Overture. I love the "Pilgrim's Chorus" when performed with singers, but at 2:40 in, listen to those glorious trombones!

and


Enjoy!
 

SteveB

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Never been able to get into the 'Big' works etc, but I have a double cassette with some of the overtures and highlights which I re-play occasionally, the Tannhauser overture is a favourite. :)
 

METALPRIEST

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Wagner's orchestra utilized the Octabass, invented in 1849 by Jean Baptiste??

That's some heavy s*** :grinthumb

here's another cool cut...

 

LG

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I saw the complete "Ring" cycle a few days ago, but I am intimidated by the scale of the whole work. I am not sure I would be able to sit through the whole thing, and I would have to read the story, I can't understand German or Italian so the singing goes right over my head.

I will see if there is a Solti version out there Kuaizi, seeing you are an expert in this field.

MP, many people do not realize the contributions made by the old great composers, from increasing the range of the instruments to designing and building concert halls (Franz Liszt was a pioneer in that regard). They are part of the fabric of music and no matter what genre you like it owes a debt to their efforts to keep pushing the boundaries of music.
 

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