Puccini: Manon Lescaut (In German) - Vadura, Kmentt, Wächter, Berry; Heger. Wien, 1954
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This German language Manon Lescaut assembles an excellent cast of males but falls short in the casting of the title part. Hilde Vadura possesses a sweet enough voice but it is overall too thin for Puccini’s lush score. At no point are you worried for her vocally, she just seems to never quite hit the mark. The good news is that the men more than make up for it. Waldemar Kmentt delivers an ardent performance as Des Grieux, never flinching at the daunting demands of the role and even interpolating an extra high note after his big scene in Act III. Eberhard Wächter as Lescaut is luxury casting as is Walter Berry as Geronte. The sound is good and there are some cuts including a rather jarring one in Manon’s Act IV aria.