The legendary Windgassen's first appearance as Siegfried
Krauss keeps up his incredibly high standard in this third Ring installment
Live concert recording, Bayreuth Festival, 10th August 1953
CD, MP3 and FLAC information:
CDs: Quadruple set - Due to the length of the three acts it has been necessary to span them over four CDs. Extra care has been taken to find natural breaks or appropriate points during the music at which to begin and end discs. Very short fades have been applied at the start and finish of each disc.
FLACs: No fades have been applied to the FLAC files. If you wish to transfer FLACs to audio CD you may of course split the recording wherever you prefer from the tracks you download. If you're listening from a non-CD source replay will be continuous through each act. There is a "fade to black" between acts.
MP3: Purchasers will receive two sets of files, both as Zip files within a single large Zip file:
- a single long, continuous MP3 with no breaks within acts, together with accompanying cue sheet for track splitting
- a set of four MP3s which correspond to the four CDs as outlined above, complete with individual cue sheets
Please check our help section for help with FLAC, MP3, Cue and Zip files.
My notes for the two previous operas in this Ring cycle suggested clear sonic improvements between the first and second opera. Here is Siegfried from day three of Krauss's August 1953 Ring cycle, and technically it's often better still. This XR remastering has succeeded at both ends of the audio spectrum - bringing out a much fuller, deeper and richer bass than previously heard whilst also extending and brightening the top end.
The approach has revealed a very slight peak distortion in the original which generally only affects a narrow frequency range during fortissimo vocals, but it's a minor quibble. There was also some minor audible quality variation between recorded sections - manifested as a slightly lower treble response for some periods during the recording - which I've generally managed to even out, but overall the sound quality is excellent and notable for a lack of drop-outs and the other sonic shortcomings one might normally expect from any recording of this vintage, be it studio or live.
In short, it's technically pretty remarkable, with low noise levels, clear constant sound and, if you choose the FLAC or MP3 downloads, uninterrupted listening through each act, something impossible with standard CDs. I followed the example of Solti's classic 1962 recording in selecting track marker points throughout (a surprisingly laborious process!) but used different (and perhaps more appropriate to the present recording) point in the music with which to end and begin discs 1-3. The Solti also served as a sonic reference for the overall re-equalisation of the recording, which had previously been very thin in the bass and lower mid-range.
Technical notes by Andrew Rose