Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Bailey, Martin, Cox, Ridderbusch, Nienstedt, Hemsley; Wallat. Bayreuth, 1970
Listen to a Sample:
This frothy performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg might not have the star-power of some others in our collection, but it still features an excellent cast of Bayreuth regulars from the 1970s. Hans Sachs was probably Norman Bailey’s greatest role. His warm bass-baritone proves an excellent fit to both the conversational ease of Wagner’s writing as well as the stamina it takes to get through a very long day of singing. Jean Cox is in fine voice as Walther von Stolzing and conveys the character’s journey from brash knight to refined poet quite remarkably. As Eva, Janis Martin, who had sung Magdalena the previous summer, asserts her soprano credentials quite convincingly. Karl Ridderbusch is a noble Veit Pogner and Thomas Hemsley is a superb Beckmesser (he holds the A natural at the end of his Act III scene longer than any other baritone I have ever heard.) The sound is very good.