Last-ever recorded Ring?

Last-ever recorded Ring?


norman lebrecht

June 26, 2014

Seattle has just announced it is releasing the 2013 Wagner Ring on 14 CDs, digital download and online streaming.

The recording features Greer Grimsley (Wotan); Stephanie Blythe (Fricka, Second Norn, Waltraute); Stuart Skelton (Siegmund), Margaret Jane Wray (Sieglinde and Third Norn), (Alberich), Alwyn Mellor (Brünnhilde) and Stefan Vinke.

Asher Fisch conducts. Evans Mirageas, a former head of Decca, produces.

Given the parlous state of commercial recording, it is hard to envisage another Ring appearing on record.

The Seattle 14-CD box set is on pre-sale from today at, price $150.




  • Paul Pelkonen says:

    Asher Fisch is a fine conductor he led an excellent Parsifal at the Met in 2013. I think though it’s too easy to blurt out that this is the “last” Ring…however the market is badly oversaturated.

    • sdReader says:

      Yes, Fisch is good. And I don’t understand Norman’s post, when there are new Rings every year now. The Barenboim Milan Ring, finished last year, has just been issued, and it is not the only example.

  • Mikey says:

    thank god if it is.

    how about putting some money into making recordings of other works that have never had the luxury?

    there are a tonne of great 20th century works that have never been recorded, or have been poorly recorded, and richly deserve a (re)release.

    enough with pandering to people who can only listen to one single opera. give us some variety.

  • Mark Stratford says:

    ===last ever RIng

    No – surely not. Never say “never”.

    Rattle has performed it a number of times – with more to come in Vienna. There will surely be a lot of political will and deep pockets to get Rattle’s Ring recorded.

    • George Papadopoulos says:

      There has already been issued a complete Rattle ring from Berlin & Aix-en-Provence LIVE performances but these luxurious cd boxes are only available to the Patrons of the Salzburg Easter festival. A privilege to own copies. So I find it impossible to get a new Rattle ring from the moment that Thielemann’s Wiener Staatsoper edition is already out.

  • anonymus says:

    Why should it be the last? Are microphones going to be legislated illegal soon?

  • anonymus says:

    …and the state of the recording business apparently is better than what the majors (who are hooked not he eternal growth addiction) are saying. Sales are stronger than ever. Also classical is rebounding in some countries.

  • David Boxwell says:

    And a staged Ring, contra Castorf, that didn’t make one completely recoil in disgust (although Grimsley’s Wotan was directed by Wadsworth to be very “handsy” whenever he was around Erda, Brunnhilde, and Fricka). Skelton was superb, as was Blythe.

  • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

    This is great news! I have been lucky to attend both the 2009 and 2013 Seattle RING, and treasure the fondest memories of both. Thanks, Norman, for posting this, as I have not yet received any information from Seattle Opera itself, though I am on their e- and snail-mailing lists: I just made a phone call and placed my order, and got a call back minutes ago with confirmation. Will this be the last RING recording to be released? Who knows… I look forward to re-living Seattle’s superb RING once the set arrives. And hope that Aidan Lang, who succeeds Speight Jenkins -whose farewell gala on Augsut 9 I will attend – and who was in the house during some of the preparations and performances of last year’s RING, will continue adding to the excellent Wagner-reputation Seattle Opera so rightly enjoys among performers and audiences alike.

  • Anon says:

    Not at all. I’ve no doubt there will be another full Ring recorded, and generous sponsorship will be forthcoming for such an enterprise (agreed it isn’t commercially viable). I expect it will happen as soon as there is a truly stellar cast to take it on, and I’m not sure there really is right now.

  • Brian Kavanagh says:

    With the continued revival in vinyl sales don’t be surprised if we get the Ring Cycle on vinyl in the not so distant future……

  • Yi-Peng Li says:

    It might be a stretch to think this will be the last-ever audio recording of the Ring. Yes I know that repetition is digging the grave of classical recording. However there might still be demand for recordings of the Ring cycle after this version is released.

  • Brian Kavanagh says:

    Indeed, I was thinking more along the lines of the SF Symphony’s vinyl edition of the Mahler Symphonies, which were released back in April 2011. One for the audiophiles among us 🙂

  • johnc says:

    There is always for a new Ring in DVD/Blu-ray of a new staging providing new insights or a new approach, of course with the image on video of the staging. Do we need more audio recordings? Probably not, there are a few good ones (Solti, Böhm), none is perfect.