Decca to release new high-definition transfer of George Solti's 'Ring Cycle' recordings
This will be the first time that Decca has returned to the original master tapes in 25 years
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of George Solti's death, Decca Classics is releasing a new high-definition transfer of the conductor's most celebrated recording: the first ever studio production of Wagner's Ring Cycle, recorded in Vienna between 1958 and 1965.
With a cast including Birgit Nilsson, Hans Hotter and Kirsten Flagstad, Solti's take on the Wagner blockbuster was twice voted 'the greatest recording of all time.' Decca's remastering of the 38 original stereo tapes have been made at 24 bit/192kHz resolution, allowing greater detail and dynamic range than ever before. It will be the first time that Decca has returned to the original master tapes in 25 years.
The Golden Ring - a selection of the greatest scenes from the cycle - will be released on 30 September, while the four operas of the Ring Cycle will be released in installments between November 2022 and May 2023 - on both CD and Vinyl. They will be accompanied by booklets including facsimiles of the original conductor and producer scores, rare session photographs, newly discovered curios and full libretti.
Dominic Fyfe, Decca Classics Label Director and Audio Producer of this reissue, says: 'Back in 1966 producer John Culshaw expressed the hope that this Ring would set a benchmark for years to come. Half a century later it is still the artistic and technical gold standard. Culshaw was above all an iconoclast and a visionary who rejoiced in new technology. I have no doubt he would approve of our efforts to utilise Dolby Atmos and the latest suite of remastering tools to make this new HD transfer the most immersive and vivid yet.'
Photo of George Solti: Getty
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Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.