Wagner: Die Walkure / Nilsson, Rysanek, Ludwig

Album cover art for upc 886978530820
Catalog: 88697853082
Format: CD

Composer: Richard Wagner Conductor: Berislav Klobucar Orchestra: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Performers: Barbro Ericson, Birgit Nilsson, Carlotta Ordassy, Christa Ludwig, Clarice Carson, Gwendolyn Killebrew, Joann Grillo, Jon Vickers, Karl Ridderbusch, Leonie Rysanek, Louise Pearl, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Phyllis Brill, Rosalind Hupp, Thomas Stewart

Wholenote Discoveries - June 2011 The Metropolitain Opera has instituted a program to issue classic Saturday afternoon performances from the past preserved on their own archive tapes, entrusting them to Sony Classical which is issuing them at re-issue prices. The first batch includes Tosca, Die Walküre, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Le Nozze di Figaro, Romeo et Juliette (Gounod), La Bohème, and Il Barbieri di Seviglia. The first two to come my way are Tosca and Die Walküre. The Die Walküre is from February 24, 1968 with Jon Vickers, Leonie Rysanek (Siegmund and Sieglinde); Karl Ridderbusch (Hunding); Thomas Stewart is Wotan, Birgit Nilsson is Brunnhilde and Christa Ludwig is Fricka. The conductor is Berislav Klobucar. This was part of the Ring Cycle brought to the Met by von Karajan who was to be in charge of every aspect of the productions from casting to sets and stage lighting. It didn’t turn out too well, beginning with an inevitable clash of personalities between MET general manager Rudolph Bing and Karajan. In total, Karajan conducted only the premier performances of this production on November 21, 24, 27 and December 2 and 5, 1967 to the critical acclaim of both audience and press, with Gundula Janowitz as the first Sieglinde. For this February performance the conductor was the Croatian Klobucar and Rysanek replaced Janowitz. To hear this ensemble of singers performing live in faultless sound will be reason enough to acquire the discs. Bruce Surtees

Price: $31.98