Wagner: Siegfried - Nilsson, Windgassen, Ward; Leitner. Buenos Airies, 1967
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This recording of Siegfried captures the legendary pairing of Birgit Nilsson and Wolfgang Windgassen at the height of their powers. Wolfgang Windgassen brings youthful vigor to the role of Siegfried. His fundamentally lyrical tenor seems most at home during the introspective moments in Act II, but he is also quite credible during the demanding forging scene. David Ward’s Wanderer is both commanding and avuncular. He is particularly good in Act III where most Wanderers have to resort to barking. Ward, however, maintains the beauty of his baritone even during the most declamatory passages. Many focus on the prodigious vocal gifts of Birgit Nilsson, and for good reason. Her tone is sterling and her production effortless no matter how ludicrous the vocal demands. What is rarely mentioned about Nilsson is how intelligent she was as an artist. Her ”Ewig war ich” in Act III bears a closer resemblance to a Mozart Rondò in terms of musicality and phrasing than Wagner. The sound is very good.