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Wolfgang Windgassen singt Wagner
Richard [Classical] Wagner, Richard Kraus, Ferdinand Leitner
Wolfgang Windgassen singt Wagner
Genre: Classical


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A Jewel of Wagner.
Abel | Hong Kong | 03/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This collection is immaculate: nearly all the great heldentenor arias from Wagner are there. And they were sung to heavenly standard here by Wolfgang Windgassen.
I don't care if it's mono or stereo or what not. The voice is SO good...I don't know how to describe it, suffice it to say that I've heard no less than a dozen heldentenors' various recordings, and find this to be THE one.
No wonder Wieland Wagner used to say that if Windgassen retires, his Bayreuth Opera Festival might as well wind up for good!
Rarely do one find such a fine collection - all the great arias - the Forging Song from Siegfried, the Prize Song from Meistersinger, the Farewell Song from Lohengrin, those other famous arias from Tristan und Isolde, Rienzi, Tanhausser, Goetterdamerang, you name it - they are there.
And they are all very satisfying - the tone is never harsh, never dull, never lacking in ardour; burnishing and vigorous, yet at the same time, lyrical! What a miracle in a heldentenor."
There is beauty here...
Matthew M. Smircina | Virginia Beach, VA United States | 03/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a remarkable disc, and is a welcome boon to fans of fine singing, and of Wolfgang Windgassen. Here his voice is caught in its absolute prime- strong, expressive, steady of tone, and simply beautiful to hear. Windgassen had a distinctive sound to his voice and intelligence in phrasing. He also knows what he is singing, and what he feels. These qualities make these studio recordings come alive as if he were singing the performances on stage, so much does his performance grab you and pull you in to the drama. If you are only familiar with Windgassen in his later recordings under Solti and Bohm, you owe it to yourself to hear him in these recordings of a decade earlier. A disc recommended to any who enjoy Wagner and Wagnerian singing at its best."
Stalwart singing from the young Windgassen
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 04/15/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"It's shocking to think that Windgassen died when he was 60, but here in these mono recordings from 1953-55 he was turning forty and well on his way to being the almost-heldentenor, the voice everyone turned to for Wagner when a real heldentenor wasn't available, a drought that lasted basically from the end of World War II until the appearance of Jon Vickers in the late Fifties (and Vickers never sang Siegfried to my knowledge). The young Windgassen wasn't yet a formed artist; his interpretations sound straightforward. His voice was never beautiful, either, and he didn't have the true ease and heft for Tristan or siegfried.

Yet with all those deficits, he had a great career becasue he was intelligent and musical. He never bellowed, and his stage presence was intense and committed. All these mixed qualities come across on this Cd, for good or ill. I will never be able to love Windgassen's voice, but I am grateful that he was around when so sorely needed."