Wagner: Die Walküre - Mödl, Hotter, Vinay, Resnik, Malaniuk, Greindl; Keilberth. Bayreuth, 1953
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When Martha Mödl sang her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Isolde, she literally stopped the show after Isolde's Act I Narration and Curse. It takes a huge force of nature to stop the momentum of a Wagner opera, but hearing her Brünnhilde, one gets a sense of the visceral power the could inspire such hysteria even during a performance of a Wagner opera. However, Mödl's artistry was more than just reckless abandon, and she achieves some beautiful moments of total vulnerability. Hans Hotter's Wotan is a shade softer than many of his colleagues who have barked his way through this role. He crafts his singing at many points with the same delicacy that he so famously brought to Lieder. A young Regina Resnik is surprisingly good as Sieglinde and, despite the weight of her middle voice, seems to have little trouble with any of Sieglinde's high notes. She is certainly well matched by Ramón Vinay as Siegmund. It is amusing that both artists would find themselves singing repertoire one notch lower not ten years later. The sound is excellent.