Beethoven: Fidelio - Bjoner, Vickers, Crass, Neidlinger, Holm; Leitner. Buenos Aires, 1970
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Ingrid Bjoner in many ways was the perfect Leonore. Her voice had just the right balance of Wagnerian steel and Mozartian purity so that the climaxes have all the impact without sounding pushed. The result is a Leonore who sounds equal parts Brünnhilde and Donna Anna and will surely please both those who prefer a dramatic voice like Nilsson or Flagstad in this role, and those who see Beethoven's only opera more through a classical lens. Jon Vicker's Florestan is pretty far from classical in sensibility, but certainly not lacking in drama and although he may paint in broader strokes than Bjoner, he still manages the dizzying demands of his opening aria with vocal security and finesse. Franz Crass brings nobility to the role of Rocco, which is refreshing given how often this character can come across as bumbling. Ferdinand Leitner's approach is broad without becoming too heavy or ponderous and treats the audience to a stirring rendition of Leonore No. 3 between the scenes in Act II. The performance is in great stereo sound.