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Enrico Caruso - Complete Recordings
(Murray Hill 920328 US-73 VG+ 350:-)

Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso is touted as one of the most popular opera singers of the twentieth century.

Caruso’s ascent ran parallel with the emergence of early recording technology. Because of his use of the gramophone record as a medium for his art, the gramophone record became socially acceptable. Caruso recorded approximately 290 commercially released recordings. This 14LP Box Set collects 238 performances; Arias, Ballads, Neapolitan Songs etc.
Richard Wagner - Der Ring Des Nibelungen
(Decca D100D-19 UK-79 EX 800:-)

There are those who prefer live performances, or who feel that the sound and theatrical effects in this recording are overdone; nonetheless this remains the benchmark Ring, as shown by its seemingly endless re-release schedule.

The Ring effort was high profile at the time and helped nail down Sir Georg Solti's status as a "superstar" conductor and authoritative interpreter of the Wagnerian repertory. Another key contributor to the success of the project was the uniform excellence in the casting. Definitive performances given include Gustav Neidlinger's nietzschean Alberich, Gerhard Stolze's whining Mime, Kurt Boehme's rumbling Fafnir, along with Birgit Nilsson in her prime - more a force of nature than a human voice. The care lavished on the capture of the music was unmatched at the time of the recording, and still leaves this as one of the best sounding Rings even today.