Wagner: Die Walküre - Nilsson, Hines, Windgassen, Nordmo-Lovberg, Frick, Töpper; Kempe. Bayreuth, 1960
Listen to a Sample:
- This is the first time that the 1960 Die Walküre from Bayreuth is available featuring Birgit Nilsson who sang the rest of the run of Brünnhildes.
- Nilsson is at her absolute prime and delivers a Brünnhilde that combines vocal power and youthful exuberance.
- Jerome Hines spent most of his career as a Met "house bass". This performance of Wotan, however, reveals the remarkable scope of his talent and artistry.
- Wolfgang Windgassen's delivers a sweet-toned Siegmund.
- It is not easy to steal the show as Hunding, but Gottlob Frick nearly does so with his snarling bass voice and supreme connection to the text.
- Hertha Töpper delivers an imperious and oddly seductive Fricka.
- Compared with her colleagues, I found myself a little underwhelmed by Aase Nordmo Løvberg's Sieglinde. It is a shame they didn't take advantage of Ingrid Bjoner whose talents were wasted in the role of Helmwige.
- The sound of the Walküre is not of the same quality as the rest of the cycle, although it is more than listenable.