Wagner: Die Walküre - Silja, Adam, Dernesch, Thomas, Hoffman, Greindl; Schippers. Osaka (Bayreuth on tour), 1967
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This recording of Die Walküre comes from a tour that Bayreuth made to Japan in 1967. Perhaps the locale was a little too exotic for the reigning divas of Bayreuth at the time like Nilsson and Rysanek, but fortunately it meant an opportunity for some of the upstarts like Anja Sijla and Helga Dernesch to get a chance to cut their teeth on some of the Wagnerian leading roles (just a few years previous they had been singing Rheinmaidens and Valkyries). Silja was still in her mid-twenties, so naturally her voice has a wonderful youthful sheen. The sophistication of her interpretation which she may have cultivated from her long association both professional and amorous with Wieland Wagner is remarkable. The pain in her voice is palpable during the line "Der diese Liebe mir ins Herz gehaucht." Helga Dernesch's voice is right at home as Sieglinde in a way that it wasn't as Brünnhilde. The lower part of her voice has wonderful warmth and the high gleams. Jess Thomas was in supremely fresh voice and sings "Winterstürme" as if it were Mozart. Theo Adam is also very good as Wotan bringing youthful vigor to the part. Thomas Schippers leads a brisk performance. The Ride of the Valkyries has a crispness to it that makes it seem almost playful. The sound is extremely good.