Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Bjoner, Cox, Ridderbusch, Nöcker, Kelemen, Wenkel, Varnay, Hillebrecht; Sawallisch. München, 1977


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NEW MASTER: This issue replaces a previous version. The sound is clearer and the pitch as been corrected.

The Bavarian State Opera assembled some of their best house singers for this performance of Götterdämmerung, many of whom enjoyed notable careers as solo singers. But despite the star power of the supporting roles, the true stand out is the sterling Brünnhilde of Ingrid Bjoner. Ingrid Bjoner paced her career very sensibly, avoiding the heaviest Wagnerian roles until her voice had matured sufficiently. The results are clearly worth the wait. Whereas other dramatic sopranos tend to duck the many high notes Wagner wrote for this role, Bjoner seems to relish every moment to thrilling effect, sounding as fresh in the Immolation Scene as she did in the Love Duet. Jean Cox is a sturdy Siegfried, bringing a lyrical quality to the part, although his voice is somewhat monochromatic which can make for some long monologues. Karl Ridderbusch’s oddly glamorous Hagen is more Machiavelli than brooding psychopath, giving the character a little more credibility than the central casting villain he can so easily become. The cast of Norns is definitely worth noting as it features Astrid Varnay, Hildegard Hillebrecht and Ruth Falcon. The sound is good.

OD 11991-4

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