Wagner: Das Rheingold - Fischer-Dieskau, Veasey, Stolze, Talvela, Ridderbusch, Dominguez; Karajan. Salzburg, 1968
Listen to a Sample:
Anyone who treasures the Karajan Ring Cycle will appreciate this live performance featuring practically everyone in the cast. It is interesting because minus the wizardry of the recording engineers, it provides a more honest accounting of how the artists would fair without the comfort of a close microphone. Surprisingly, they all do remarkably well in particular the Wotan of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Fischer-Dieskau brings all of his interpretive prowess to the role, and is remarkably credible when pitted against the formidable forces of Wagner's orchestra. Josephine Veasey brings her youthful, shimmering tone to the role of Fricka giving the goddess a well-needed touch of glamor. Gerhard Stolze's Loge may lack the vocal beauty of someone like Wolfgang Windgassen, but he more than makes up for it with the infinitive shading with which he imbues each word, giving the demigod a mercurial sprightliness. Other standouts include Martti Talvela who brings the heart of a poet to Fasolt contrasted by the gruff Fafner of Karl Ridderbusch. Oralia Dominguez is arresting in her brief turn as Erda. Herbert von Karajan finds details in the score that I had never heard before. The sound is pristine!