Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Lorenz, Varnay, Uhde, Neidlinger, Greindl, Mödl, Siewert; Keilberth. Bayreuth, 1952
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This is a wonderful document highlighting the glory years of the re-opening of Bayreuth after the war. Astrid Varnay as Brünnhilde is in top form replete with gleaming high notes as well as nuanced singing, showing that there is more to singing Wagner than being loud. Max Lorenz was nearing the end of his career. His singing is at times mannered and sloppy and he goes sharp a lot. Still every now and then he shows that he can produce an attractive tone and is remarkably tireless in the part. It is a true pleasure to hear Josef Greindl when the voice still had some freshness to it. He makes Hagen come across as a young man as opposed to a sulking brute. Martha Mödl is an absolute luxury as Gutrune. It is so nice to hear this singer during the brief window where her voice was unmarred by vocal troubles. Joseph Keilberth leads an excellent performance. The sound is pristine.