Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer - Herrmann, Werth, Suthaus, Frick; Fricsay. Berlin, 1952
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Ferenc Fricsay lends this performance of Wagner’s first great opera a well-needed sense of drama. The stormy emotion he whips up in the orchestra is sadly lacking from the singers’ performances. Josef Herrmann sings nobly in the introspective passages but his light-voiced Dutchman sounds more annoyed than tormented by his plight. Helene Werth’s Senta is more interesting, and though she does not produce a wide variety of sound, she uses her large voice very accurately. Ludwig Suthaus and Gottlob Frick, both luxury casting in supporting roles, are left to lend some much-needed drama to the vocal proceedings. The sound is disappointing, with lots of tape noise and some distortion present throughout.