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Leonie Rysanek was just 24 years old when she appeared in the inaugural season of the Post-War Bayreuth in 1951. The appearance marked a new era for the festival and catapulted the young soprano to international stardom. For years only Act III of this recording existed offering only a tantalizing glimpse of Rysanek in Sieglinde’s brief but important appearance in that act, so when I can across this recording featuring Act I, scene iii I was overjoyed. The sound is somewhat muffled but it shows that Rysanek’s signature gleaming top and intense stage presence were more or less fully formed even at an age when most singers today would be finishing their masters. Günther Treptow delivers an attractive Siegmund and Herbert von Karajan offers an honest yet passionate reading.
Leonie Rysanek sings Strauss and Wagner