The First Stereo Ring Cycle previously unpublished SIEGFRIED · SBT4 1392 (4 CDs)
Gramophone At the time Keilberth never seemed to receive his due – his command of every aspect of this vast score is unerring in balance, detail and overall Schwung. No opera house or recording has since rivalled the cast assembled here, not even the Decca set, by which time Hotter, Windgassen and Neidlinger were all some ten years older. In 1955 all three are at the peak of their form. Don’t take my word for it: buy the discs and experience Wagner as he was supremely performed in those special days.
Opera The performance is overall an ear-opening vindication of Keilberth. The Testament is essentially a great performance astoundingly well recorded and presented.
International Record Review This amazing performance comes across in all its power because there are no sonic limitations. I’m sure this recording is destined for classic status.
BBC Music Magazine This Siegfried sounds perpetually alive and committed in a way that often eludes studio recordings.
The Independent Magnificent is the only word for it. This is teamwork on an exalted scale. Keilberth was the first among equals in Wagner.
Financial Times The Bayreuth/Decca tapes have awoken from their slumber. A vintage cast is led by Astrid Varnay, Wolfgang Windgassen and Hans Hotter. I can barely wait for the other three Ring operas from this source.
Sunday Telegraph Remastered by Testament, the sound can only be described as sensational, with orchestral playing of supreme quality under the inspired conducting of Joseph Keilberth. I am not exaggerating: there are parts of this score as you perhaps dreamed you might hear them. Wagnerians have to experience this set.
Daily Mail Wolfgang Windgassen is the last truly compelling Siegfried. The real discovery is Keilberth. His fleet-footed yet powerful account of Siegfried reveals what a first class Wagnerian he was.
The Times The revelations are the remarkable early stereo sound quality and Keilberth’s elemental conducting. This Siegfried has an inexorable sweep that will take your breath away. The singing too is of a kind that you just don’t hear today. The classical-record event of the year. Five stars.