Wagner: Das Rheingold - Adam, Boese, Windgassen, Neidlinger, Silja, Talvela, Böhme; Böhm. Bayreuth, 1965


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This performance of Das Rheingold is carried to a great extent by the excellent Wotan of Theo Adam. The Rheingold Wotan suited Adam's youthful baritone the best of all the Ring operas and he delivers a god whose rash ambition is tempered by a dignified bearing; striking an important balance between Wotan's admirable traits and his fatal flaws. He is joined by a fantastic cast down to the last Rhinemaiden. It is a testament to Wolfgang Windgassen's artistry that he didn't mind doing double duty as Loge and the not-so-insignificant role of Siegfried, as Loge, being less strenuous, gives Windgassen a chance to display his considerable skills as an actor. Anja Silja is a wonderful Freia, Martti Talvela delivers a Fasolt with the heart of a poet and Gustav Neidlinger shows why he was the reigning Alberich of the day. One of the highlights is Lili Chookasian's brief but impactful turn as Erda (a welcome variation from the Phillips release which featured Vera Soukupová in this role). The one disappointment is the Fricka of Ursula Boese whose voice comes across as a little monochromatic. The sound is excellent.

OD 10906-2