Wagner: Tannhäuser - Windgassen Rysanek, Dvorakova, Prey, Talvela; Cluytens. Bayreuth, 1965

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It cannot be denied that the sixties may have been the golden age of Bayreuth.  Many international starts made it their summer home and under the artistic custodianship of Wieland Wagner, Wagner operas flourished.  Leonie Rysanek had been singing Elisabeth there for over ten years at the time of this performance.   In the early sixties she did run into vocal trouble but she seems to have bounced back at this point.  Her High b in the ensemble in act II pierces through both orchestra and chorus.  Wolfgang Windgassen seems non-plussed about the dizzying tessitura of the title role and brings humanity to a rather cardboard character.   Ludmila Dvorakova was a singer's singer.  Her voice is opulent and rich.  Hermann Prey brings his knowledge of German Lied to good effect in his aria and Martti Talvela is noble as Landgraf.  And to think that this was just another summer night at Bayreuth.  The sound is very good.

OD 10222-3

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