Wagner: Die Walküre - Kniplova, Berry, Janowitz, Parly, Ludwig, Talvela; Karajan. Salzburg, 1967


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A performance from Herbert von Karajan was always an event and time and time again he would meet the expectations.  However this recording is also notable because it marks the only time that Walter Berry sang Wotan.   Perhaps he only agreed to sing it because he felt like he couldn't say no to Karajan, but whatever for reason it was, it is a shame that he didn't continue to do the role.  He brings a healthy and youthful tone to the part (remember if Brünnhilde is a teenager that probably puts Wotan in his 40s if the same norms apply to gods.)  Nedezda Kniplova may come across slightly matronly as Brünnhilde but her voice works extremely well under the harsh conditions of Wagner and with Karajan mercilessly pushing the orchestra.  Gundula Janowitz is right at the precipice of her vocal abilities as  Sieglinde but fortunately never falls off the edge.   Christa Ludwig gets to play wife to her actual husband as Fricka  The sound is very good.

OD 10393-3