Another fine Bayreuth performance, with fantastic voices...
Rachel Howard | ocklawaha, Florida United States | 08/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fritz Uhl sounds excellent here as Siegmund, solid and bell clear. Regine Crespin is one of the finest Sieglindes ever to grace any stage and she proves why here. Gottlob Frick does his usual menacing work as Hunding. Frick brings out some qualities that go hand in hand with the old Norse characters from the Eddas. These men were hard and brutal, true (I'm also thinking of Hagen here!), but they were respected as great warriors. The death of Hagen should be required reading for those interested in this kind of fantasy. Astrid Varnay seems to be in excellent voice here, singing Brunnhilde brilliantly. For me, the show stopper and the main reason for me to get any Walkure, is the Wotan, and we are superbly served here by Jerome Hines. Hine's voice is as majestic as a mountain range, and you can always be sure of the humanity of any of his characters. (His Bluebeard, in Ormandy's old recording of Duke Bluebeard's Castle by Bela Bartok is an awesome document of an enigmatic and tragic role. The Judith is Rosalind Elias, and I have yet to hear a finer version, even though it's in English- clear English, might I add!) Hines has the voice of a god here, with that deeply human element any great Wotan must have. What more can I say? Is this a Walkure to replace all others on the market? No. None of them are, though I have a soft spot in my heart for Solti's classic version, and the slightly older Leinsdorf version. (Now THAT was a Walkure! Gre Brouwenstijn as Sieglinde... Jon Vickers as Siegmunde... Rita Gorr as Fricka... Birgit Nilsson as Brunnhilde... and the great George London as Wotan!) This verson under Kempe is a fine edition, with clear sound to go along with everything else..."