Wagner: Ring of the Nibelungen (Bayreuth, 1953)

This Ring cycle is, at least arguably, the best cast Ring recording from Bayreuth – ever! A number of great Wagnerians are caught in their youthful prime – Astrid Varnay, Wolfgang Windgassen, Hans Hotter, Ludwig Weber, et al. Adding to the glory of this Ring are some characterizations that were recorded all too few times, especially the magnificent Sieglinde of Regina Resnik (before she switched to mezzo roles) and the Siegmund of Ramon Vinay. Long popular on a “budget” label from 2nd class source material, this 1953 recording is finally issued in an authorized remastering from the original German Radio Master Tapes at mid-price ($10 per disc). A must for serious Wagnerians!

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