Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Kniplová, Cox, Nienstedt, Kélémen, Dalis, Tipton; Sawalllisch. Roma, 1968

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This performance of Götterdämmerung assembles an eclectic cast of performers, many of which were woefully overlooked by the operatic world. The most striking example is Nedezda Kniplová as Brünnhilde. Kniplová’s soprano had a slavic thrust that was on display throughout her entire range and although “youthful” may be the best adjective for her tone, her voice was objectively beautiful albeit in a matronly way. Jean Cox sings one of his first Siegfrieds, a role that would be a staple of his operatic diet for decades. Although Cox may not have been the most vocally distinguished Heldentenors of his time, he brought a youthful energy to the role that is all to rare. Gerd Nienstedt delivers one of the most sinister Hagens I have come across. If he lacked the boom of a true profundo bass voice, he makes up for it by creating a Hagen who is a genteel conniver as opposed to brutish bully. Irene Dalis is luxury casting in the brief role of Waltraute and delivers an impassioned monologue. To sweeten the deal, Helga Dernesch sings the role of the second Norn and Brigitte Fassbaender sings Flosshilde. The sound is good.

OD 11132-4

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