Wagner: Das Rheingold - Adam, Kelemen, Martin, Ridderbusch, Dominguez; Sawallisch. Roma, 1968
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Well aware of the score's fleetness and wit, but unafraid to tap into its majesty, Sawallisch favors fast tempi and a light touch in this exhilarating reading of Das Rheingold. He leads an excellent cast, headed by the great Theo Adam, in good form as a brash, thundering Wotan. Janis Martin is a prim, chilly Fricka and Oralia Dominguez is an unusually sensual Erda. Even if he does not have the mellifluousness one wishes in an ideal Loge, Herbert Schachtschneider is wry and articulate as the fire god, and the Giants (Gerd Neinstedt and Karl Ridderbusch) are exceptional. The Rheinmaiden trio suffers from some weak intonation, but to make up for it there is Zoltán Kélémen's surefire Alberich, his signature role. As part of the whole, this Rheingold points to a intriguing, well-sung reading of the cycle, but it stands on its own as a highly entertaining recording of the opera.