Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Nilsson, Windgassen, Hagenau, Jones; Leitner. Buenos Aires, 1967
Listen to a Sample:
This 1967 cycle comes to a close, with a fine cast led by Birgit Nilsson's legendary Brünnhilde. She takes a while to warm up in Act I, but is afterwords heard in prime form, especially in a thrilling Immolation scene. Wolfgang Windgassen is Siegfried, one of his finest roles, and is heard in excellent, untiring voice, tossing off the near-impossible high C in Act III like it is merely a vocalise. Heinz Hagenau's sonorous Hagen and Zoltan Kélémen's Alberich make a compelling case for the forces of darkness, and Fabio Giongo makes for a fine Gunther. Likewise, his Fricka, Grace Hoffman, returns for a compelling Waltraute scene, and is joined in the Norn's trio by Erika Wien and Gwyneth Jones. The latter also sings what may possibly be the most dramatically-compelling Gutrune ever recorded, climaxing in a hair-raising scream when her husband's body is borne in. If there is anything to complain about, it's that the brass playing is often scrappy at best, and the performance is cut (not disfiguringly). However, the errors give this very live performance a vitality and fervor that carries through the singing all the way to the ecstatic reactions from the house.