- LPs. If you've got a turntable and you're willing to frequent garage sales, look at Craig's List, eBay, opera-l, and used record stores, you can find some great bargains. I picked up 120 opera recordings in the 1990s from a fellow opera-l reader who had replaced his LPs with CDs and wanted as many as possible to go to good homes. My finds including most of the Janacek operas, a number of rarities (Der Vampyr, anyone?), and copies of the Goodall and Solti Rings.
- Berkshire Record Outlet.Check frequently; do searches on "Ring des Nibelungen," know what you're looking for, ask questions of the knowledgeable. At the moment, they've got the 1952 Bayreuth Ring for $48 on Melodram (Keilberth); the 1950 La Scala Ring for $28 on Opera d'Oro (Furtwangler); and the 1953 Bayreuth Ring for $52 (Krauss). Those are all mono, and none of them are official issues, meaning I can't vouch for the sound quality. Note that the 1952 with Keilberth is not the first stereo Ring, which is the 1955 Bayreuth recording available only on Testament at a much higher price.
- MDT. MDT has frequent big sales organized by label. They once had the Goodall on CD for 60 pounds, far and away the cheapest price I've ever seen for it, considering that the individual operas can run $60 apiece. Watch the shipping because MDT is in England. Right now, they have Furtwangler's RAI Ring for $38, Krauss for $67 (on Orfeo, which is supposed to have the best sound for this set), Barenboim for $43 (a mixed bag that I know by reputation only...), Keilberth 1955 for $114.
- eBay. Used and new! Again, know what you're looking for, set alerts, be ready to pounce. Watch those shipping costs, especially for LPs. At the moment "Ring des Nibelungen" returns 198 results, including Levine on DVD for under $70, the Solti on LP for $45, the stereo Keilberth for $70, Furtwangler's RAI Ring for $60, etc.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Bargains: Hoisted from the Comments
Over on my Stage Directions posting, Joe Barron is asking about bargains in Ring recordings. Here are some suggested methods for locating deals, but because what's available where at good price points shifts madly, I can't really point to many specific offers.