Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Adam, Janowitz, Kozub, Fassbaender, Crass; Sawallisch. Roma, 1971
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It would be easy for me to point out that this recording of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg assembles a "dream cast" of extremely gifted singers, but Meistersinger requires more than star-power to achieve the fine balance of grand opera and intimate story that makes it such a unique work. Aided to a large extent by the energetic and attentive conducting of Wolfgang Sawallisch, this cast of great singers achieves almost miraculous results. Theo Adam, as Hans Sachs, never abandons his commitment to the text even in the face of formidably difficult music. Gundula Janowitz's pure and ethereal tone are a perfect fit for the role of Eva. Having mostly been acquainted with her in stoic roles like the Marschallin and the Countess, I didn't know that she could play coy as well. Ernst Kozub brings both vocal beauty and stentorian power to the role of Walther. Peter Schreier's charming David must also be singled out as well as Brigitte Fassbaender's feisty Magdalena and Franz Crass' Veit Pogner. The sound is very good.