Wagner: Die Walküre - Välkki, Meyfarth, Adam, Uhl, Hoffman, Frick; Klobucar. Bayreuth, 1964
Listen to a Sample:
To the uninformed, Wagner can often conjure up images of overweight men and women in horned helmuts. While the helmets have fallen out of favor, to those who consider themselves "perfect Wagnerites", suffering the odd middle-aged soprano trying to pull off coy is an unfortunate reality. So when a performance like this, which boasts a cast that can convey the youth of their characters, comes along it is truly a breath of fresh air. Anita Välkki's smokey soprano abounds with energy and if she lacks the power of Birgit Nilsson she makes up for it in vocal athleticism. Theo Adam's Wotan is both virile and nuanced, making it clear why he owned this role at Bayreuth for nearly 15 years. Jutta Meyfarth's silvery soprano blooms in all the right places making for a Sieglinde that is both passionate and sensual. Fritz Uhl's lyric tenor is equally youthful, although his performance lacks the ardency of his colleagues.
The sound is very good, although I should point out that there is an unfortunate drop-out of about 45 seconds at the end of the opera during Wotan's last utterance.