Wagner: Die Walküre - Lindholm, Ward, Wennberg, Brilioth, Ericson; Kempe. Stockholm, 1975
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This performance of Die Walküre does a lot to speak for the native Wagnerian forces in Sweden during the 1970s. Berit Lindholm in the title role strikes the perfect balance between Brünnhilde the warrior, and Brünnhilde the teenager. Her slender yet steely soprano cuts easily through the orchestra throughout her entire range. No less youthful in vocal quality, Helge Brilioth delivers one of the more lyrical Winterstürmes you are likely to hear. Siv Wennberg is the real discovery on this recording. Her career was based mostly in Sweden but she demonstrates that she could have held her own on any stage, bringing to my mind a young Anja Silja. David Ward, the one import in this cast, delivers a stoic and moving Wotan despite being slightly past his prime. Barbro Ericson is a wild and appropriately shrewish Fricka. Rudolf Kempe gives Wagner's dense orchestration an almost effortless quality and at times remarkably transparent. The sound is excellent.