Now on YouTube - the complete Ring from 1955 in stereo conducted by Joseph Keilberth, check this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIVdMIpYOLzH4WccXAn2nfA/search?query=wagner+keilberth+1955 This is the famous 1st stereo recording of the Ring live in Bayreuth which was hidden 51 years in the archive due to Solti's "1st stereo Ring" already being planned for release a little later, also recorded by Decca like this one.
@tumultodevozes nah mate that does not sound like something prejudiced against opera. His Siegfried Idyll sym.poem is one of my fav symphonic poems and that's why i feel sad that he didn't compose more works like this one. I'm not sayin that i'm gonna take his opera works and force him to compose symphonic ones . Lol.
"Sadly Wagner didn't write more symphonies. But I must be happy with what he already composed." Nonsense! Wagnerian art was conceived intrinsically as operistic. This sort of lament sounds like prejudiced against opera.
With the Spotify on-demand playback on all Last.fm pages showing tracks (e.g. albums) it's quite easy to listen to some complete Bayreuth performances of the Ring now. My favorite is the one by [url=http://open.spotify.com/album/48tlbrSWs89YQel2fI60zU]Daniel Barenboim[/url], but the albums by [url=http://open.spotify.com/album/5HtYen7O0s6Sr7CpuutJwF]Christian Thielemann[/url], [url=http://open.spotify.com/album/7B1Getf8GaXb9FtqIilA0Z]Pierre Boulez[/url], [url=http://open.spotify.com/album/58TkFPXESI8f1jK7TTOIDh]Karl Böhm[/url] et al can transport the unique live sound of the Festspielhaus to your speakers as well. Older ones in mono are also worth listening featuring legendary Wagner singers and conductors.
I suspect the break between Wagner and Nietzsche ultimately stemmed from the latter's rejection of Schopenhauerian philosophy, which had had a major influence upon Wagner's work since Tannhäuser. Nietzsche, whilst initially favourable to Schopenhauer, came to reject the idea of self-denial, and instead sought to establish a philosophy which affirmed life. Hence, it's understandable why he would oppose Parsifal on philosophical grounds, given that the opera's libretto stresses the need to reject the material world and the urges of the will. The issue was not that Wagner had possibly become a Christian. Rather, from Nietzsche's evolving perspective, Wagner had fully embraced a philosophy which - religious or not - still praised servility, chastity and the denial of the self. Parsifal, in particular, represented for Nietzsche a life-denying philosophy which he saw as being decadent, and as being ultimately harmful to the development of great individuals.
Nietzsche disliked the topic of Parsifal (but as Nietzsche had argued previously, the subject should matter very little when discussing an artistic work's value), but he also wrote: "Moreover, apart from all irrelevant questions (as to what the use of this music can or ought to be) and on purely aesthetic grounds; has Wagner ever done anything better?" (See Wikipedia on Parsifal.) Obviously Nietzsche very much liked the music. It must also be mentioned that - as Bryan Magee has demonstrated - Nietzsche must have known that Wagner never did convert and that Wagner only mentioned Christianity in a mocking manner (moreover, Parsifal is more Buddhist or Schopenhauerist than Christian), so Nietzsche's criticism cannot have been due to Wagner's supposed Christianity. On the other hand, according to Bryan Magee Nietzsche must have had some personal reasons to attack Wagner.