Wagner: Siegfried - Kollo, Jones, McIntyre, Zednik, Kélémen, Salminen; Boulez. Bayreuth, 1977


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Pierre Boulez's light, fleet interpretation of the Ring fits the Scherzo of the cycle like a glove. The forge hums, the forest shimmers, the fire roars spectacularly and there is still room for dramatic intensity in the act one dialogue scenes. René Kollo has a late-in-the-day success in the title role. He is well-matched with Heinz Zednik's spastic, impish Mime. The gods are a little less impressive: Donald McIntyre starts strong but tires audibly in act three, and while Gwyneth Jones is certainly in stronger, fresher voice than she would be for the commercial release in 1980, the Siegfried Brünnhilde remains her least congenial role out of the three. The cameo roles are all taken strongly: Norma Sharp brings fine clarity and tone to the Woodbird, Matti Salminen growls out an effective Fafner, Hanna Schwarz sounds as weary and wise as Erda should, and Zoltan Kélémen's nasty, laser-sharp Alberich gets act two off to a strong start.

OD 11193-3