Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Dvorakova, Hering, Talvela, Shaw, Harper, Veasey; Solti. London, 1970
Listen to a Sample:
Sir Georg Solti conducting a Wagner opera will always be of interest to Wagnerians. But in this instance I will come back to him later and begin with the Hagen on this recording. Martti Talvela only sang a few performances of this role. He never felt that is suited him. It is a great shame because his suave mellifluous voice casts that character in an entirely new light. You can describe a performance of Hagen's call in Act II as many things but beautiful is a word you rarely hear associated with music that demands the amount of volume as that does. Talvela's voice lends the role a sympathetic quality that is almost always missing. You feel that he has some good in him but nonetheless led astray by the ambitions of his father. I don't want to overlook the rest of the superb cast. Ludmila Dvorakova was at her prime in 1970 and sings with great power and beauty (there's that word again?!) Karl Josef Hering is a lyrical Siegfried, John Shaw is Gunther, Josephine Veasey is Waltraute and Heather Harper is Gutrune. As for Solti, what can I say about his Wagner conducting that hasn't already been said? The sound is fair although I must warn you that there were occasional gaps which I have joined together for the sake of continuity. They last from a fraction of a second to about two seconds. They are not pervasive but they do occur. Forewarned is forearmed.