Wagner: Die Waküre - Jones, McIntyre, Napier, King, Ridderbusch, Reynolds; Stein. Bayreuth, 1975


Listen to a Sample:


This performance of Die Walküre captures Gwyneth Jones right at the moment when she was beginning to hit her stride as a Wagnerian soprano and displays a soprano that is both lush and steely but also capable of delicate singing particularly in the last scene with Wotan.  Donald McIntyre brings a more human approach to Wotan, eschewing the Bayreuth bark in favor of a more introspective approach.  James King's Siegmund is both stentorian and fresh in a way that you would not expect from a tenor who had been singing some of the most dramatic rep for the past twenty years.  His "Winterstürme" in particular should serve as model to would-be heldentenors that singing Wagner is not just about power.  Marita Napier is a disappointment as Sieglinde.  The voice is unfocused and strident.  Horst Stein gives enormous attention to the melodic lyricism of this opera finding musical lines even in the most bombastic moments.  The sound is very good.

OD 10801-3