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Nothing in the history of recording approaches Decca’s mammoth venture in producing Wagner’s Ring complete for the first time. It was eight years in the making and this book tells the story of how it was made and the people who made it, written by the man who – as the recording producer – was in charge of the whole project. Conducted by the great Georg Solti, Decca’s recording has been voted the best recording ever made. All the celebrated Wagner singers of their age take their places in the story, including Birgit Nilsson, Kirsten Flagstad, Hans Hotter, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gottlob Frick and Wolfgang Windgassen. The recording was made in Vienna with the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra, and Culshaw displayed extraordinary dedication to Wagner’s musical requirements and to putting into practice his own belief that a stereo recording could create a ‘theatre of the mind’. This is the story of how the recording evolved, and how it frequently almost came to grief. More than that, it is the story of how a new medium – recorded opera in stereo – reached fulfilment, and how this ground-breaking recording became seen as the highly influential gold standard for the future.
In the music business for more than thirty years and former manager of the classical division of the Decca Record Company, Culshaw chronicles the growth of the music industry and portrays many of its outstanding figures
(Limelight). Commentary on and a concise, lucid interpretation of the opera world's most complex masterwork, expanded from the author's popular intermission talks during Met Opera broadcasts. "Anyone, whether knowledgeable or not, will profit by reading it..." Opera Quarterly
"Scrupulous . . . planned and executed with quite unusual care." —Opera There has long been a need for a modern English translation of Wagner's Ring—a version that is reliable and readable yet at the same time is a true reflection of the literary quality of the German libretto. This acclaimed translation, which follows the verse form of the original exactly, fills that niche. It reads smoothly and idiomatically, yet is the result of prolonged thought and deep background knowledge. The translation is accompanied by Stewart Spencer's introductory essay on the libretto and a series of specially commissioned texts by Barry Millington, Roger Hollinrake, Elizabeth Magee and Warren Darcy that discuss the cycle's musical structure, philosophical implications, medieval sources and Wagner's own changing attitude to its meaning. With a glossary of names, a review of audio and video recordings, and a select bibliography, the book is an essential complement to Wagner's great epic.
This book explores the fascinating world of the record business, its technology, the music and the musicians from Edison's phonograph to the compact disc. The great artists - Caruso, Toscanini, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley and their successors - all achieved fame through the medium of records, and in turn have influenced the recording industry. But just as important are the record producers, those invisible figures who decide from behind the scenes how a record will sound. The history of recording is also the history of record companies: the book follows the vicissitudes of the multinational giants, without neglecting the small pioneering labels which have brought valuable new talents to the fore.
Unravels the complexities of musical performance for students, teachers and performers at all levels.

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