Wagner: Die Walküre - Nilsson, Rysanek, Adam, King, Boese, Talvela; Böhm. Bayreuth, 1965


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When I first got the Böhm Walküre as released by Phillips many years ago, it instantly became my favorite version surpassing even Solti's. This performance, from two years earlier, delivers much of the impact of the commercial release with a few interesting cast differences. Aided by Leonie Rysanek and James King Böhm produces one of the most thrilling first Acts I have ever come across. Rysanek's Sieglinde seems to have endless reserves of passion and her voice soars over the orchestra with fearless and wild abandon. James King's stoic Siegmund is an excellent match for Rysanek and renders one of the most beautifully sung "Winterstürmes" since Melchoir. Birgit Nilsson, as Brünnhilde, seems totally undaunted by the formidable technical demands of the hojotohos fearless soaring to the high Cs as if it were a vocalise. Theo Adam's baritonal Wotan may lack some of the avuncular gravitas of Hans Hotter, but he still brings a brash swagger and his grief at the end of the opera is quite moving. A very interesting variation from the Phillips release is the Hunding of Martti Talvela whose smooth bass almost makes Hunding seem somewhat sympathetic. The sound is very good.

OD 10907-3