Wagner: Das Rheingold - Hotter, von Milinkovic, Suthaus, Grümmer, Neidlinger, Stolze, Greindl; Knappertsbusch. Bayreuth, 1957
Listen to a Sample:
- The genius of Hans Hotter's performance of the Rheingold Wotan is his incredible vocal restraint. That is not to say that he doesn't make the most of the big vocal moments in this opera, he just seems infinitely more interested in exploring the many layers of nuance in the text, giving the listener the sense that they are hearing a great storyteller, as opposed to just a great singer (in truth, he was, of course, both.)
- Ludwig Suthaus brings star power to the role of Loge and plays well off of Hotter.
- Elisabeth Grümmer is stunning as Freia, making Fasolt's infatuation with her seem inevitable and all the more poignant.
- Gustav Neidlinger would go on to own the role of Alberich for decades, but here he is found at his absolute vocal peak. It is interesting to hear him next to Hotter because it is fair to say that the beauty of his tone exceeds Hotter's, casting a wonderful layer of ambiguity between hero and antihero. It was clearly no accident that Wagner wrote the roles of Wotan and Alberich for very similar voice types.
- None to mention.