Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Kuchta, Windgassen, Greindl, Stewart, Dernesch; Maazel. Bayreuth, 1968
Listen to a Sample:
In this performance of Götterdämmerung, we meet a completely new Siegfried and Brünnhilde from the previous opera. Perhaps the idea was that the love that the new-found love at the end of Siegfried has completely transformed these characters. The reason hardly matters because Gladys Kuchta and Wolfgang Windgassen sing like gods from the opening lines of their duet till the end. Kuchta's voice is warm and luscious. It may lack, to a slight extent, the sledgehammer attack that Birgit Nilsson and Astrid Varnay brought to Act II, but she nonetheless makes the point that she is not a woman to be messed with. Josef Greindl is a wonderfully slimy let charismatic Hagen. Birgit Nilsson said about his Hagen that one truly got the sense that he was only half-human. I couldn't have said it better myself. They also assembled one of the finest pair of Gibichung in the form of Thomas Stewart as Gunther and Helga Dernesch as Gutrune. I have to also give a shout-out to the superb third Norn of Liane Synek. The sound is very good.