Wagner: Die Walküre - Nilsson, Hotter, Brouwenstijn, Uhl, Boese; Wallberg. Buenos Aires, 1962
Listen to a Sample:
Hans Hotter and Birgit Nilsson are an unstoppable duo in this opera. When they begin their Act III confrontation, it is as if the opera has been turned up to 11. Hotter may be caught a little late in the game, but he manages his waining vocal powers with unparalleled dramatic intensity. His Act II Monologue is impeccably acted, if occasionally barked rather than sung. Nilsson is in prime voice, and if she tends to check out on the words occasionally, Act III brings out the best in her. Ursula Boese is a rather hysterical Fricka, making a big impression in her one scene, and Arnold van Mill is a nicely nasty Hunding. The Wälsung twins are less successful overall, Gré Brouwenstijn’s creamy soprano not meshing particularly well with Fritz Uhl’s piercing, rather nasal tenor. They both have interesting things to say in the roles, clearly, but they just don’t sound like a pair. The Valkyries are a generally strong group, and the sound is stereo and clear. The orchestra, however, is having an off-day, with several audible mistakes and a brass section that appears to be playing in the key of Q sharp throughout much of the opera.