Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer - Greindl, Kuchta, Grobe; Maazel. Berlin, 1965


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Josef Greindl exists in the minds of opera aficionados as the possessor of a big, black bass perfectly suited to villains, devils and the occasional king. Hearing him as Wagner's most tortured sailor therefore requires a slight leap in cognitive process. His Dutchman is as tortured, brooding and angst-ridden as the roles’ greatest interpreters, but Greindl's voice brings the part an undercurrent of fitful rage... he is less beaten down by his eternal wandering as he is driven by it. His Senta, Gladys Kuchta, is a little more conventional, delivering her ballad with a big, wild sound and tightly controlled intensity. Hans Beirer is a very good Eric, impassioned but lacking in spark, and Donald Grobe is an impeccably plaintive steersman. Lorin Maazel is more at home in the expansive love duet than in the Sturm und Drang, but he drives the opera forward unrelentingly.

OD 11198-2

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