Wagner: Das Rheingold - Ward, Veasey, Stolze, Neidlinger, Robinson; Solti. London, 1965


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Besides its illustrious maestro, this Das Rheingold does not sport the kind of super stars you may have seen gracing the operatic stages of the world during the 60s. That is not to say that the cast isn't anything but spectacular, in fact the absence of over-sized egos seems to encourage the ensemble to interact with each other in a direct and intimate fashion. David Ward is a Wotan for the ages. His voice is robust and regal and his commitment to the play is both intense and understated. Josephine Veasey's Fricka may in fact suffer from being too beautifully sung which is quite refreshing given how easy it is for this character to become a one-dimensional shrew. For my money, the real star of the show is the superb Loge of Gerhard Stolze. Although Stolze was more closely associated with Mime, he shows that he is just as comfortable being puckish as he is being grotesque. Solti's conducting reveals a breadth and organic quality that to a certain extent is missing from the overly manicured studio release. The sound is fair.

OD 10763-2