Wagner: Tristan und Isolde - Nilsson, Brilioth, Ericson, Borg, S. Björling; Varviso. Stockholm 1970


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Birgit Nilsson was exiled from the U.S. in the early 70s due to some unresolved tax issues. It is a shame because in many ways these were her best years. Although in her 50s, she still had amazing command of her soprano which had taken on a darker hue from her earlier years. More importantly, the new decade seemed to herald a deeper dramatic connection to the characters she portrayed creating performances that were equally distinguished vocally and dramatically. She is joined by the dashing Swedish tenor, Helge Brilioth who brings youthful ardor to one of the most brutal of Wagners’ tenor roles. Barbro Ericson’s approach to Brangäne is more maternal than sisterly, but nonetheless well-sung. Sigurd Björling’s voice is a shadow of its former beauty, but he doesn’t let his personal vocal struggles get in the way of an otherwise committed performance. The sound is very good.

OD 11341-3