WAGNER The Potted Ring (1926-32) - PABX011

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WAGNER The Potted Ring (1926-32) - PABX011

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Overview

WAGNER The Potted Ring - Volume One: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre
WAGNER The Potted Ring - Volume Two: Siegfried
WAGNER The Potted Ring - Volume Three: Götterdämmerung, Motives and Extras
Studio recordings, 1926-32

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This set contains the following albums:

Click below to expand note:
COATES, BLECH Wagner: The Potted Ring, Vol. 1 (1926-32) - PACO107

HMV's Potted Ring, Volume 1: Das Rheingold and Die Walküre

"This is a set no enquiring Wagnerian, whatever complete version of The Ring he or she owns, should be without" - Gramophone


The present release is the first of three which will bring together the 122 78 rpm sides of extended excerpts from Wagner’s tetralogy which His Master’s Voice recorded in London, Berlin and Vienna between 1926 and 1932. The scope of this project centers around the Ring albums – not every disc of music from the Ring which HMV issued during this period. It is, however, “more than complete” in that two HMV recordings which were not part of the Ring albums, but which feature some of the same performers, have been added: Coates’ Rhinegold Prelude, and Schorr’s Wotan/Fricka duet with Leisner from Act 2 of Die Walküre. The present volume gathers together excerpts from Das Rheingold and Die Walküre; the second will focus on Melchior’s Siegfried recordings; and the final one will feature scenes from Götterdämmerung, as well as an appendix featuring alternate recordings from the series and an outline of motives from the Ring cycle.

While Rheingold got rather short shrift in HMVs plans (only two discs in an album otherwise devoted to Siegfried excerpts), more attention was paid to Die Walküre. The sessions were split between a Berlin cast centering around the Brunnhilde of Frida Leider and the Wotan of Friedrich Schorr, conducted by Leo Blech, and a London cast with Walter Widdop as Siegmund and Florence Austral singing Brunnhilde, primarily led by Albert Coates. Göta Ljungberg appeared as Sieglinde in both, save for a single London side. The Act 1 excerpts were all made in London, while Act 3 was done in Berlin and the second act split between the two.

The recordings capture Leider and Schorr, both considered the finest exponents of their roles at the time (and certainly among the finest of all time), at the height of their powers. A decade later, when Kirsten Flagstad came on the international scene, she was invariably compared to Leider, and not always to the latter’s detriment. And while later singers could bring more psychological complexity to Wotan (Hans Hotter, for example), few could match the combination of legato and authoritative declamation that Schorr brings to the role.

The original recording quality is variable, coming as it does within a couple years of the introduction of electrical recording. The London sessions were distantly miked in large halls, and the singers are often overwhelmed by Coates’ surging orchestra. Some of the Berlin sides can also sound rather dim, depending on the engineering of a particular session. Multiple copies of the finest pressings on which these discs were available (prewar American Victor “Z” and “Gold” label editions) were drawn upon for the present transfers, except for one Rheingold disc which only came out on HMV.   


Mark Obert-Thorn


COATES, HEGER, ALWIN Wagner: The Potted Ring, Vol. 2 (1928-32) - PACO114

HMV's Potted Ring, Volume 2: Siegfried

"This is a set no enquiring Wagnerian, whatever complete version of The Ring he or she owns, should be without" - Gramophone


The present release is the second of three which will bring together the 122 78 rpm sides of extended excerpts from Wagner’s tetralogy which His Master’s Voice recorded in London, Berlin and Vienna between 1926 and 1932.  The scope of this project centers around the Ring albums – not every disc of music from the Ring which HMV issued during this period.  The first volume (PACO107) gathered together excerpts from Das Rheingold and Die Walküre; the present set focuses on Melchior’s Siegfried recordings; and the final one will feature scenes from Götterdämmerung, as well as an appendix featuring alternate recordings from the series and an outline of motives from the Ring cycle.

The Siegfried recordings have a particularly convoluted history in the “Potted Ring” saga.  Initially, HMV released an album of eight discs, combining two from Das Rheingold (featured in Volume 1 of our series) with six from Siegfried, in recordings made between June, 1927 and April, 1928.  This set included the Wotan/Erda duet featured here (the only “Potted Ring” recordings to come from Vienna), as well as six sides with Rudolf Laubenthal as Siegfried.  In three of these, he was joined by Frida Leider in excerpts from the final duet.  (Oddly, a disc with an orchestral version of the “Forest Murmurs” led by Leo Blech was included along with Laubenthal’s vocal excerpts from the same scene.)

Melchior’s absence from these sides can be explained by the fact that he did not make his first recordings for the HMV labels until June, 1928.  In May of the following year, sessions were scheduled in London for him to record Siegfried selections under Albert Coates, including re-recordings of material already covered in Laubenthal’s solo sides.  These were collected into a second, five disc volume on HMV.  Further recordings in May, 1930 (“Selige Öde” and “Das ist kein Mann”) under Robert Heger were issued on two single discs.  In America, Victor collected these, the 1929 recordings and the unduplicated 1927-28 Siegfried sides from the first volume in a ten-disc set.

Further recordings of excerpts from Acts 1 and 2 in May, 1931 and the Act 3 duet in May, 1932, all under Heger, were issued as separate volumes both in Europe and America.  Ultimately, HMV released a 19-disc set of the 37 sides presented here, although it was never offered this way on Victor.  Fortunately for posterity, Melchior’s unsurpassed assumption of the rôle was captured nearly complete at the height of his considerable powers in these recordings.

The sources for the transfers were multiple copies of American Victor editions:  prewar “Z” and “Gold” label pressings, as well as a particularly quiet postwar album, for the 1928-30 recordings; “Z” and “Gold” editions for the 1931 recordings; and two sets of “Z” pressings for the 1932 final scene.  The progress of electrical recording during this period can be traced through the variable sound of the originals, from the dim Vienna sides of 1928 and the occasionally strident and overloaded London sessions of 1929, to the warm, detailed sound obtained in Abbey Road in 1932.

Mark Obert-Thorn


COATES, BLECH Wagner: The Potted Ring, Vol. 3 (1926-31) - PACO118

HMV's Potted Ring, Volume 3: Götterdämmerung, Motives and Extras

"We encounter truly great Wagner singing ... Laubenthal’s Siegfried is not far short of ideal ... Andresen sings with the kind of firm, black tone simply not encountered today"
- Alan Blyth, Opera on Record (1979)


This third and final volume of our “Potted Ring” series centers on Götterdämmerung, whose recording, like the earlier Walküre set, was divided between London and Berlin, with different casts, conductors and orchestras.  I have interpolated two recordings not contained in the original sets in order to make the performance more complete.  First, by including the first side of Coates’ “Rhine Journey” (missing in the albums) and editing it around “Zu neuen Taten”, I have been able to present the Prologue uncut.  Secondly, I have included the Melchior/Schorr recording of “Hast du, Gunther, ein Weib?” in order to fill in a scene which went unrecorded in the original albums, one which leads directly into Hagen’s Watch (and one which I did not originally include in my 1994 “Potted Ring” set for Pearl).

The Appendix contains several recordings from the HMV and Electrola editions of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung which were replaced in the versions issued by Victor in America.  The six sides with Laubenthal (three of them with Leider), as well as Blech’s orchestral version of the “Forest Murmurs”, were contained in the first album of Siegfried excerpts issued in Europe.  By the time Victor issued their first Siegfried set, several sides had been re-recorded with Melchior, and these were chosen for the American release, although the abridged final scene with Laubenthal and Leider was retained.  Eventually, Melchior recorded the complete scene; and since that appears in Volume 2 of our series, these duplicated earlier sides are presented here.

Muck’s “Rhine Journey” and “Funeral Music” appeared in the European editions of the Götterdämmerung albums, but Victor replaced them with the Coates recordings.  As Coates conducts the rest of the Prologue and most of the Immolation Scene, I thought it would be more consistent to go with the Victor choices here and put the Muck versions in the Appendix.  Finally, the two discs of illustrated motives from the Ring cycle were not originally part of any set, but were issued separately.  Two different, uncredited announcers are heard.  The first sounds like a seasoned BBC presenter; but I have often wondered whether the second might be producer/conductor Collingwood himself.

The sources for the transfers were American Victor editions (primarily “Z” pressings) for everything except the Melchior/Schorr duet, the three Laubenthal Siegfried solos, Blech’s “Rhine Journey”, a portion of the end of Act 2 of Götterdämmerung, and the side with “Schweigt eures Jammers” (dubbed on Victor), which all came from British HMV pressings.

Mark Obert-Thorn

Click below to expand track listing:
COATES, BLECH Wagner: The Potted Ring, Vol. 1 (1926-32) - PACO107

  • CD 1 (76:13)

    WAGNER 
    Das Rheingold WWV 86A

    1. Prelude (4:01)
    Symphony Orchestra ∙ Albert Coates

    Recorded 2 February 1926, Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrix: CR 142-1 ∙ HMV D 1088 

    2. Spottet nur zu! (4:44)
    Louise Trenton, sop.; Elsie Suddaby, sop.; Nellie Walker, con.; Arthur Fear, bs. 

    3. Wotan, Gemahl (4:46)
    Nellie Walker, con.; Walter Widdop, ten.; Kennedy MacKenna, ten.; Howard Fry, bar.; Arthur Fear, bs.

    London Symphony Orchestra ∙ Albert Coates
    Recorded 5 January 1928, Kingsway Hall, London ∙ Matrices: CR 1540-3/1541-2B ∙ HMV D 1546

    4. Zur Burg führt die Brücke … Abendlich strahlt (8:32)
    Friedrich Schorr, bar.; Waldemar Henke, ten.; Genia Guszalewicz, con.

    Berlin State Opera Orchestra ∙ Leo Blech

    Recorded 17 June 1927, Singakademie, Berlin ∙ Matrices: CDR 4700-2/4701-3 ∙ HMV D 1319

       

    WAGNER Die Walküre WWV 86B

    Act 1

    5. Prelude . . . Wes Herd dies auch sei (4:03)
    Recorded 26 August 1927, Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrix: CR 1485-1A ∙ HMV D 1320

    6. Ein Schwert verhieß mir der Vater (4:26)
    Recorded 23 August 1927, Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrix: CR 1467-1A ∙ HMV D 1320

    7. Schläfst du, Gast? (0:45)
    8. Der Männer Sippe (3:51)
    Recorded 27 May 1927, Kingsway Hall, London ∙ Matrix: CR 1367-1A ∙ HMV D 1321

     9. Dich, selige Frau (1:05)
    10. Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond (2:46)
    Recorded 23 August 1927, Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrix: CR 1465-2 ∙ HMV D 1321

    London Symphony Orchestra ∙ Albert Coates

     

    11. Du bist der Lenz (7:51)
    Recorded 16 August 1926, London ∙ Matrices: CR 611-2A/613-1 ∙ HMV D 1322

    Orchestra ∙ Lawrance Collingwood

     

    12. Siegmund heiß ich (3:12)
    Recorded 23 August 1927, Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrix: CR 1466-2A ∙ HMV D 1323

    London Symphony Orchestra ∙ Albert Coates 

    Walter Widdop, ten.; Göta Ljungberg, sop.

     

    Act 2

    13. Prelude . . . Nun zäume dein Roß . . . Hojotoho! (4:14)
    Recorded 12 September 1927, Singakademie, Berlin ∙ Matrix: CwR 1116-2 ∙ HMV D 1323

    Berlin State Opera Orchestra ∙ Leo Blech

     

    14. Der alte Sturm, die alte Müh! (4:38)
    15. So ist es den aus mit den ewigen Göttern (8:06)
    16. Was verlangst du? (4:51)
    Recorded April, 1932, Abbey Road Studio 1, London ∙ Matrices: 2B2840-2/2841-1/2842-2/2843-1 ∙ HMV DB 1720/21

    London Symphony Orchestra ∙ John Barbirolli

     

    17. O heilige Schmach! (4:20)
    Recorded 12 September 1927, Singakademie, Berlin ∙ Matrix: CwR 1117-2 ∙ HMV D 1324

    Berlin State Opera Orchestra ∙ Leo Blech

    Frida Leider, sop.; Emmi Leisner, m-s.; Friedrich Schorr, bar.


 


 


  • CD 2 (76:58)

    Die Walküre

    Act 2 (continued)

    1. So nimm meinen Segen (4:13)
    Recorded 12 September 1927, Singakademie, Berlin ∙ Matrix: CwR 1118-1 ∙ HMV D 1324

    Frida Leider, sop.; Friedrich Schorr, bar.

    Berlin State Opera Orchestra ∙ Leo Blech

     

    2. Raste nun hier (3:01)
    3. Hinweg! Hinweg! (5:53)
    Recorded 27 May 1927, Kingsway Hall, London ∙ Matrices: CR 1368-2/1369-1 ∙ HMV D 1325

     

    4. Siegmund! Sieh auf mich! (4:53)
    Recorded 23 August 1927, Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrix: CR 1462-1 ∙ HMV D 1326

     

    5. Fänd’ich in Walhall (4:21)
    6. So jung und schön (3:29)
    Recorded 26 August 1927, Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrices: CR 1483-1A/1484-1A ∙ HMV D 1326/27

     

    7. Zauberfest bezähmt ein Schlaf (4:38)
    Recorded 25 October 1927, Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrix: CR 1463-3 ∙ HMV D 1328

     

    8. Wehwalt! Wehwalt! (2:31)
    9. Geh hin, Knecht! (1:46)
    Recorded 23 August 1927, Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrix: CR 1464-1A ∙ HMV D 1328

     

    Walter Widdop, ten.; Göta Ljungberg, sop.; Florence Austral, sop.; Louise Trenton, sop.; Howard Fry, bar.

    (Note: Trenton sings Sieglinde on CR 1463 only, while Fry sings both Hunding and Wotan on CR 1464)

    London Symphony Orchestra ∙ Albert Coates

     

    Act 3

    10. Prelude . . . Hojotoho! (6:55)
    Recorded October, 1927, Singakademie, Berlin ∙ Matrices: CwR 1163-6/1164-2 ∙ HMV 1329 

    11. Rette mich, Kühne! (3:45)
    Recorded 1 November 1927, Singakademie, Berlin ∙ Matrix: CwR 1188-2 ∙ HMV 1327

    12. Wo ist Brünnhild’ (8:46)
    Recorded October, 1927, Singakademie, Berlin ∙ Matrices: CwR 1161-2/1162-1 ∙ HMV 1330

    13. War es so schmählich (3:31)
    Recorded 1 November 1927, Singakademie, Berlin ∙ Matrix: CwR 1190-5 ∙ HMV 1331

    14. Du zeugtest ein edles Geschlecht (3:46)
    Recorded 29 September 1927, Singakademie, Berlin ∙ Matrix: CwR 1189-3 ∙ HMV 1331

    15. Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind! (3:59)
    16. Der Augen leuchtendes Paar (6:35)
    17. Loge, hör! (4:54)
    Recorded 17 June 1927, Singakademie, Berlin ∙ Matrices: CDR 4695-1/4696-2/4697-1/4698-1 ∙ HMV D 1332/33

    Frida Leider, sop.; Friedrich Schorr, bar.; Göta Ljungberg, sop.; (Valkyries: Ljungberg; Elfriede Marherr; Genia Guszalewicz; Alberti; Lydia Kindermann)

    Berlin State Opera Orchestra ∙ Leo Blech


COATES, HEGER, ALWIN Wagner: The Potted Ring, Vol. 2 (1928-32) - PACO114

WAGNER Siegfried


CD 1

            Act 1

1          Prelude

2          Zwangwolle Plage!

3          Hoiho! Hoiho! Hau ein! Hau ein!

4          Als zullendes Kind zog ich dich auf

5          Soll ich der Kunde glauben

6          Aus dem Wald fort 

7          Heil dir, weiser Schmied!

8          Dein Haupt pfänd’ ich

            Heinrich Tessmer, ten.; Lauritz Melchior, ten.; Friedrich Schorr, bar.

            London Symphony Orchestra ∙ Robert Heger

Recorded 9 May 1931 in Kingsway Hall, London ∙ Matrices: 2B 529-1A/528-2/531-2/532-2A/533-2A/534-1A/525-1A/526-2  ∙ HMV DB 1713 and DB 1578/81


9          Fühltest du nie im finstren Wald

10        Nothung! Nothung! Neidliches Schwert! 

11        Hoho! Hoho! Hahei! Schmiede, mein Hammer

            Albert Reiss, ten.; Lauritz Melchior, ten.

            London Symphony Orchestra ∙ Albert Coates

Recorded 16/17 May 1929 in Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrices: CR 2197-3/2198-2B/2199-3A/2200-2 ∙ HMV D 1690/1


            Act 2

12        In Wald und Nacht

13        Zur Neidhöhle fuhr ich bei Nacht

14        Deine Hand hieltest du vom Hort?

            Eduard Habich, bar.; Friedrich Schorr, bar.

            London Symphony Orchestra ∙ Robert Heger

Recorded 21 May 1931 in Kingsway Hall, London ∙ Matrices: 2B 554-2/555-2 ∙ HMV DB 1582


15        Daß der mein Vater nicht ist

16        Du holdes Voglein!

            Lauritz Mechior, ten.

            London Symphony Orchestra ∙ Albert Coates

Recorded 17 May 1929 in Queen’s Hall, London ∙ Matrices: CR 2401-2/2402-2A ∙ HMV D 1692


17        Haha! Da hätte mein Lied 

18        Wohin schleichst du eilig und schlau

            Lauritz Melchior, ten.; Heinrich Tessmer, ten.; Eduard Habich, bar.*

            London Symphony Orchestra ∙ Robert Heger

Recorded 21 May 1931 in Kingsway Hall, London ∙ Matrices: 2B 557-1A/556-2 ∙ HMV DB 1583

*(Note: Habich sings both Fafner and Alberich)


 


            CD 2

            Act 2 (continued)

1          Da lieg auch du, dunkler Wurm!

2          Gönntest du mir wohl ein gut Gesell?