Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Hotter, Windgassen, Brouwenstijn, Greindl, Fischer-Dieskau; Cluytens. Bayreuth, 1956
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In my opinion there is not a more human Hans Sachs than that of the great Hans Hotter. He is both fatherly, sensual and one is keenly aware that this is real man with a sharp intellect. After all the mark of any great performer is that they make the performance seem like an organic improvisation that they are conjuring up on the spot. Even when he is lecturing Walther at the end of the opera about protecting German art one can still hear the smile on his face and sense the genuine affection that he has for the young knight. Wolfgang Windgassen is afforded a chance to show off his more lyrical side which he does with skill and elegance. Gre Brouwenstijn is an ethereal Eva. The other real stand outs of the cast are the Veit Pogner of Josef Greindl, and, as a true luxury, the Fritz Kothner of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. André Cluytens deserves to be considered among the great Wagnerian conductors of his day. He shapes the huge ensembles with the kind of care and nuance that one would expect from chamber music. The sound is excellent although there is very occasional static.
Hans Hotter sings "Tatest du's wirklich?" from Tristan und Isolde.