Wagner: Die Walküre - Knie, McIntyre, Napier, Brenneis, Reynolds, Ridderbusch; Stein. Bayreuth, 1974
Listen to a Sample:
Soprano Roberta Knie got the opportunity that most singers dream of during the summer of 1974 when she got the chance to replace an ailing soprano as the Walküre Brünnhilde at Bayreuth. Despite the promise of this performance, the Wagnerian repertoire would prove too taxing for her slender yet steely soprano leading to her early retirement. That said, she is in excellent voice in this performance, lending Brünnhilde a youthful exuberance that you rarely hear in Wagner (not unlike Berit Lindholm’s performances in the 1960s). Donald McIntyre finds himself in much fresher voice in this performance than he would in the early 80s when the Phillips set was released. Gerd Brenneis brings a youthful, lyric quality to Siegmund’s music which is unfortunately not matched by Marita Napier’s glassy-voiced Sieglinde. The sound is good although there is a very slight hiss in the upper range.