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--Standard Repertory--

By Richard Wagner

VIDEO: HiFi Stereo, 180 min., on two cassettes -- with Placido Domingo, Robert Lloyd and Cheryl Studer. The forces of the Vienna State Opera conducted by Claudio Abbado bring this operatic milestone to magnificent realization. [preceding blurb from the German Language Video Center catalog] Available as Order #JB 30 $49.95 in the German Language Video Center catalog Possibly, Domingo's finest role and Studer isn't bad either. Their entire collaboration is something quite special, as are Robert Lloyd's deepest tones as the King. The sound quality is good, too. On HOM LOH 020 [G.R.]

AUDIO: A) MELODRAM:cSandor Konya, Rita Gorr, Elisabeth Gruemmer, von Matacic conducting (1959); "live" at Bayreuth; a broadcast performance in fine sound with an excellent trio of voices in their prime; mono [G.R.]

B) EMI: Jess Thomas, Christa Ludwig, Elisabeth Gruemmer, Kempe conducting; almost as solid a trio, but Thomas, though sufficiently musical, cannot match Konya in #A; the three advantages of Ludwig's unbeatable Ortrud, this recording's easy availability and its fine stereo sound are the chief ingredients in its favor [G.R.]

C) GRAMMAFONO 2000: Lauritz Melchior, Margaret Harshaw, Helen Traubel, Busch conducting; "live" at the Met; a rare and exciting performance in so-so sound; for sheer vocal plush, Melchior and Traubel remain the most exciting of all; a few cuts; mono [G.R.]

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