Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Jones, Thomas, Ridderbusch, Arvidson, Minton, Keleman; Boulez. Bayreuth, 1976

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If you love Gwyneth Jones then this recording of Götterdämmerung will be invaluable as it finds the Welsh at the absolute height of her powers. She is able to both sing with unfathomable dramatic reserves while maintaining the line and lyrical quality that distinguished her in her early years. Jess Thomas, sadly, was a little passed his prime and his voice sounds dried out. That said, he manages the treacherous role admirably. Karl Ridderbusch brings an incongruous stately bearing to Hagen, which makes the character seem more cold-blooded than sociopathic. Pierre Boulez' conducting is inspired throughout and he seems galvanized by the excitement of the production as well as the superb singers. He delivers, among other things, probably the most exciting second act I have ever heard. The sound is excellent. I have included the applause at the end as it is peppered by a prominent contingent of people booing. Riots would later ensue and the police would have to be brought in. Not bad for a work of art that was 100 at the time…

OD 10749-4

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