Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Varnay, Svanholm, List, Janssen, Bampton; E. Kleiber. Buenos Aires, 1947
Listen to a Sample:
For the regulars to my site you will notice how similar this recording is to the tantalizing CD of excerpts from this opera that features the Kirsten Flagstad from a year later. Both feature the great Erich Kleiber and many of the same singers in the smaller roles. This recording, however, is complete, and features the superb Brünnhilde of Astrid Varnay. It is amazing to think that she was not even yet thirty when she sang this performance. Her voice is absolutely gleaming and enormous and her understanding of Wagner style is impeccable (having worked with Melchoir, Traubel, Flagstad and the like, she certainly had some good role models.) Set Svanholm sings Siegfried. I had never really considered this artist before and I am surprised at how lyrical his approach to this role is. He is able to match Varnay in volume and sing other sections like they are Mozart even managing a pretty good high C in Act III. Emmanuel List has to make some adjustments with the top of his voice to get through the role of Hagen, but he his voice is sufficiently black. I would have to say that the real star of the evening is Erich Kleiber. His tempos are brisk without sounding frenzied and he actually achieves a graceful and even playful sound from the orchestra at times. Listening to the elder Kleiber you can see that the apple did not fall far from the tree when it came to his son Carlos. The sound is fair.