Wagner: Das Rheingold - McIntyre, Reynolds, Esser, Neidlinger, Zednik, Ridderbusch, Moll; Stein. Bayreuth, 1975


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Up until this point I had always been a little luke-warm when it came to Donald McIntyre, having always found his voice a little wooly and lacking in stature.  Either I had been listening to all of the wrong recordings or this particular evening found the Australian bass-baritone in formidable voice, as he quickly dispels all of my preconceived notions about him from his first lines.  McIntyre delivers a very balanced approach to Wotan showing equal parts of grandeur, eloquence, charm, greed and ambition.  He is joined by an excellent ensemble cast including Anna Reynolds, who highlights Fricka's vulnerability as opposed to her shrewishness and the excellent Loge of Hermin Esser.  Gustav Neidlinger's voice lacks some of the brute force of other Alberichs but his characterization, much like that of McIntyre's, is much more well-rounded and at times sympathetic.  Horst Stein's leadership is fluid and detailed without letting the orchestra distract attention from the singing.  The sound is quite good although there are a few moments where the music skips a second.

OD 10800-2