Wagner: Tannhäuser - Windgassen, Rysanek, Ericson, Wächter, Talvela; Suitner. Bayreuth, 1964
Listen to a Sample:
If you want to prevent a performance of Tannhäuser from coming across as static, the answer is quite simple: simply cast Wolfgang Windgassen and Leonie Rysanek in the lead roles. The two breathe life into the opera, giving it the same dramatic momentum that you might expect from Act I of Die Walküre. The title role in particular can be a nightmare to cast due to the high tessitura and dramatic heft required for it, but Wolfgang Windgassen makes it seem downright easy. Leonie Rysanek was the perfect jungendlische dramatic soprano. She somehow managed to bring an ingenue quality to all the parts even while unleashing her formidable soprano voice. Barbro Ericson is an appealing, if not completely seductive Venus. Eberhard Wächter makes much of Wolfram’s music. The sound is very good.