Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Varnay, Hopf, Frick, Keleman, Cordes, Hoffman; Klobucar. Bayreuth, 1964

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Over the past few months I have been making a point to amass as many Bayreuth performances as are available. The remarkable thing that I have come to learn in doing so, is that even though they perform the same operas over and over and often with the same cast, each performance is different. (Irene Dalis told me that over the three consecutive summers that she went there to sing Kundry, Wieland Wagner would show up with a different conception each time.) This performance assembles the great Astrid Varnay with Hans Hopf and Gottlob Frick. The Götterdämmerung Brünnhilde always brought out the best in Varnay and she shines from love duet to Immolation scene. Hans Hopf's voice comes across as a little wooden but he manages the daunting challenges of this role with seeming ease. Gottlob Frick's black bass voice creates an evil yet oddly aristocratic Hagen. The rest of the cast is very good particularly the third Norn of Anita Välkki. The sound is excellent.

OD 10737-4

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