Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer - Greindl, Kniplová, Beirer; Maazel. Tokyo, 1966
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Lorin Maazel sets a tempest blazing throughout the orchestra in the opening moments of this Der fliegende Holländer, captured on the Deutsche Oper Berlin’s tour of Japan in 1966. He drives the opera forward at a gale force, stopping only for the score’s most reflective moments. Even the jocularity of the Act III party scene, which usually drags on for hours, is taken at a clip, brewing to a terrifying climax when the Dutchman’s crew joins in from offstage. Unfortunately his cast is much less interesting than his baton work. Josef Greindl’s impressive, intelligent bass is caught on an off-day, sounding worn and threadbare, and Hans Beirer’s geriatric-sounding Erik is remarkably unsatisfying. Nadedza Knipalová’s Senta has plenty of power, but not so much pitch. The most satisfying performances come from Peter Lagger’s venal Daland and Donald Grobe’s ringing Helmsman. The sound is a little muddy, and, unfortunately, slightly compromised in the Act II love duet, but otherwise very acceptable.