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Posted October 12, 2010
I heard a selection from this on WETA radio. I was surprised to learn that it was Szell with the Cleveland orchestra, since the sound quality was quite good and Szell has been gone for many years. In his day, he was one of the very top conductors and his versions of the big symphonies were always at or near the top of the list. The engineers have done a very nice job. It sounded very clear, detailed, and refined, unlike a lot of remasters I have heard.
Though I am not a great opera buff or even a great Wagnerian, I find I enjoy the more exciting parts of the Ring Cycle in the full version with orchestra and singers and, say, Birgit Neilsen as Brunhilde. But this wordless Wagner with Szell is certainly enjoyable and less stressful to listen to (now there's a concept - listening to music as stressful!) Much as I enjoy it, I don't think I could listen to the operatic Ride of the Valkyries more than twice a month, but I could listen to the worldless version three times a month(-:
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Posted July 11, 2009
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