Wagner: Mödl, Varnay & Nilsson in Götterdämmerung, Parsifal & Siegfried


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In recent months I came across some troubled Wagner recordings. They were in great sound for the most part, but long passages had succumbed to CD rot forcing me to abandon them. It finally dawned on me to simply extract the good parts (why waste good Wagner) and what I created is almost more interesting: a chance to listen to three of the greatest dramatic sopranos back to back singing Wagner.

The first marks Martha Mödl's last outing as Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung. She struggles through most of it, but every once in a while a high note comes out that has all the hallmarks of Mödl in her (brief) prime.

Astrid Varnay is in better form in Parsifal. Here we have a rare glimpse at her Kundry (a role that she didn't sing that often.) The lower tessitura suits Varnay very well and she is tireless at the end.

Last is Birgit Nilsson singing Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung. In 1962 she was at the absolute height of her powers and her performance is nothing short of miraculous. The sound is quite good.

OD 10670-3

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