(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very good CD for people who follow Birgit Nilsson's development. It contains live performances from 1949 (Ariadne auf Naxos - Nilsson sang Ariadne!!) to 1977 (Dyer's Wife in Die Frau Ohne Schatten). You can see her development from young to old over close to 30 years. For someone like me who have many of Birgit Nilsson's commercial recordings, this is a great CD too because it allows me to compare her 'live' performances with the studio recordings. It also enables me to see how her voice developed over the years. For instance, her voice grew in warm as she progressed in her career. By 1977, her voice had lost some ease - you can tell that she has to sing with more effort but her top register is still amazing, the gleam is still there even if it is more effortful to produce (when I say effortful I mean by young Birgit Nilsson standards - if you compare with other singers, she still sings effortlessly). Imagine - by 1977, she was 59 and she still puts singers singers half her age at 30 to shame. A very interesting CD in very mono sound. 5 stars for Nilsson's superb performances (her vocalism never fails to amaze me), for a fantastic variety of excerpts, for very mono sound, for the historical importance of this CD and for the incredible bargain price ... for 2 CDs.If you are a 'historical' freak, buy this. If you are a Birgit Nilsson freak, buy this. If you are an opera freak, buy this. Even if you are not a freak, buy this!!"
A Document In The Grand Career Of Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005)
Dag Kyndel | 03/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The great soprano from Sweden, Birgit Nilsson, once contemplated suicide when she met with dismal reviews in her first perfomrance as Agathe from Weber's Die Freitschutz, for she was inexperienced and fresh out of the farm she grew up in. She went on to become the greatest dramatic soprano of all time, and for me, she is an even more thrilling and masterful soprano than the overrated Maria Callas. Birgit Nilsson died of unknown causes in her hometown of Sweden on Christmas of '05 only months ago. Her huge, steely, bright, metallic voice was reportedly capable of breaking glass and stone. This album covers many years in her career. Her Ariadne is not well known and it's captured in a young voice (50's) and she is in phenomenal shape. The dramatic heft of the role is suited to her voice. Wagner was her specialty of course and here we have slices of her Elisabeth from Tannhauser. She also sang Venus. Isolde was another great role of hers (the one she debuted at the Met) and Brunhilde is of course her best role. Singing Strauss is no piece of cake but when we listen to her Salome and Elektra and Dryer's Wife from Die Frau we are hearing a woman who, despite age, is singing with strength and vigor. She gets into character each time and she sings beautifully. All fans of La Nilsson must get this one."
The complete career of one of the greatest singers of all ti
Dag Kyndel | Hölö, Sweden | 01/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I could nor beleive my eyes when I saw the price of this recording. It covers the complete career of the greatest Wagner and Strauss singer in the last half of the 20th Century. I think a complete performance of Ariadne on Naxos allurs in the archives of the Swedish Broadcasting Company - a release, please! [After having written these comments I have learned that the whole performance has been released, [...]
When the news arrived that La Nilsson hade died in her home, surrounded by family members and near friends, on Christmas Day 2005 (kidneys not functioning, and no more dialysis possible) - we at once understand her uniqueness - there was nobody there to take over the helm and shield....It is quite wonderful that this extensive compilation was published just recently. It is a very worthy portrait of a blessed singer!"