Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Lidgendza, Cox, Stewart, Jones, King, Ridderbusch, Mazura, Reynolds; Stein. Bayreuth, 1972
Listen to a Sample:
- The era at Bayreuth during the 1970s is often overshadowed by the 1960s and 1950s when singers like Astrid Varnay, Birgit Nilsson and Martha Mödl reigned supreme. Despite having some formidable shoes to fill, the 1970s brought a generation of young singers whose energy and talent brought new life to the theater.
- Horst Stein shows astonishing command over Wagner's orchestration, bringing out many details I have never heard before.
- Catarina Ligendza sings all three of the Brünnhildes with ease and power.
- Jean Cox's Siegfried matches Ligendza in youthful exuberance and vocal lyricism.
- Thomas Stewart brings over-sized grandeur to the role of Wotan.
- Gwyneth Jones and James King as Siegmund and Sieglinde are nothing short of red-hot.
- The rest of the exceptional cast includes Karl Ridderbusch as Fasolt, Hunding and Hagen, Anna Reynolds as Fricka and Waltraute, Franz Mazura as Gunther, Janis Martin as Gutrune and Ursula Schröder-Feinen as the Third Norn.
- The sound is generally good, except for some patches of intermittent skipping in Das Rheingold, Act II of Siegfried and Act II of Götterdämmerung. In the case of Das Rheingold I was able to find another version of the performance in Mono and with sound that does not have the same dynamic range. I decided to include that version in this set at no additional cost.