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Wagner: Die Walküre (DG The Originals) Box set


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1908 Born in Salzburg on April 5. The Karajan family originally came from Macedonia in Northern Greece and bore the name Karajannis. Herbert von Karajan’s great-great-grand¬father emigrated to Saxony but eventually settled as a merchant in Vienna. For his services in the furtherance of trade and industry, Frederick Augustus, Elector of ... Read more in Amazon's Herbert von Karajan Store

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Product details

  • Composer: Richard Wagner
  • Audio CD (7 Sept. 1998)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0000254UX
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,894 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug - OrchestervorspielBerliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan 3:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Erste Szene - "Wes Herd dies auch, hier muß ich rasten"Berliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers 8:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Erste Szene - Einen Unseligen labtest du (Siegmund, Sieglinde)Berliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers 3:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Zweite Szene - "Müd am Herd fand ich den Mann"Berliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers and Martti Talvela 5:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Zweite Szene - "Friedmund darf ich nicht heißen"Berliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers and Martti Talvela 6:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Zweite Szene - Die so leidig Los dir beschied (Hunding, Sieglinde, Siegmund)Berliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers and Martti Talvela 4:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Zweite Szene - "Ich weiß ein wildes Geschlecht"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Martti Talvela 5:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Dritte Szene - "Ein Schwert verhieß mir der Vater"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers 6:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Dritte Szene - "Schläfst du, Gast?"Berliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers 6:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Dritte Szene - "Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers 3:08£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Dritte Szene - Du bist der LenzBerliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan 2:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Dritte Szene - O süßeste Wonne! Seligstes Weib! (Siegmund, Sieglinde)Berliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers 6:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Dritte Szene - War Wälse dein VaterBerliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers 2:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Erster Aufzug / Dritte Szene - Siegmund, den Wälsung, siehst du, Weib! (Siegmund, Sieglinde)Berliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers 2:37£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Erste Szene - Vorspiel - "Nun zäume dein Roß"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Thomas Stewart 2:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Erste Szene - Hojotoho! Hojotoho! (Brünnhilde)Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Régine Crespin 2:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Erste Szene - "Der alte Sturm, die alte Müh'"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Josephine Veasey and Thomas Stewart 4:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Erste Szene - So ist es denn aus mit den ewigen GötternBerliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Josephine Veasey and Thomas Stewart 9:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Erste Szene - "Was verlangst du?"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Josephine Veasey and Régine Crespin and Thomas Stewart 2:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Erste Szene - Deiner ew'gen Gattin heilige Ehre (Fricka, Wotan)Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Josephine Veasey and Thomas Stewart 3:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Zweite Szene - "Schlimm, fürcht ich, schloß der Streit"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Régine Crespin and Thomas Stewart10:38Album Only
Listen  8. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Zweite Szene - "Ein andres ist 's: achte es wohl"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Régine Crespin and Thomas Stewart 6:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Zweite Szene - So nimmst du von Siegmund den Sieg? (Brünnhilde, Wotan)Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Régine Crespin and Thomas Stewart 4:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Zweite Szene - So nimm meinen Segen, Niblungen-Sohn (Wotan, Brünnhilde)Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Régine Crespin and Thomas Stewart 4:53£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Zweite Szene - "So sah ich Siegvater nie"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Régine Crespin 3:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Dritte Szene - "Raste nun hier; gönne dir Ruh!"Berliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers12:11Album Only
Listen  3. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Vierte Szene - "Siegmund! Sieh auf mich!"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers and Régine Crespin10:42Album Only
Listen  4. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Vierte Szene - "Du sahest der Walküre sehrenden Blick"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers and Régine Crespin 4:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Vierte Szene - So jung und schön erschimmerst du mir (Siegmund, Brünnhilde)Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers and Régine Crespin 4:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Fünfte Szene - "Zauberfest bezähmt ein Schlaf"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers 3:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Fünfte Szene - Der dort mich ruft, rüste sich nun (Siegmund, Sieglinde, Hunding, Brünnhilde)Berliner Philharmoniker and Gundula Janowitz and Herbert von Karajan and Jon Vickers and Martti Talvela and Régine Crespin 3:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Zweiter Aufzug / Fünfte Szene - Zu Ross, daß ich dich rette! (Brünnhilde, Wotan)Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Régine Crespin and Thomas Stewart 3:34£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 4:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Erste Szene - "Hojotoho! Heiaha!"Barbro Ericson and Berliner Philharmoniker and Carlotta Ordassy and Cvetka Ahlin and Danica Mastilovic and Helga Jenckel and Herbert von Karajan and Ingrid Steger and Lilo Brockhaus and Liselotte Rebm 8:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Erste Szene - "Schützt mich und helft in höchster Not"Barbro Ericson and Berliner Philharmoniker and Carlotta Ordassy and Cvetka Ahlin and Danica Mastilovic and Helga Jenckel and Herbert von Karajan and Ingrid Steger and Lilo Brockhaus and Liselotte Rebm 3:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Erste Szene - "Nicht sehre dich Sorge um mich"Barbro Ericson and Berliner Philharmoniker and Carlotta Ordassy and Cvetka Ahlin and Danica Mastilovic and Gundula Janowitz and Helga Jenckel and Herbert von Karajan and Ingrid Steger and Lilo Brockha 6:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Zweite Szene - "Wo ist Brünnhild', wo die Verbrecherin?"Barbro Ericson and Berliner Philharmoniker and Carlotta Ordassy and Cvetka Ahlin and Danica Mastilovic and Helga Jenckel and Herbert von Karajan and Ingrid Steger and Lilo Brockhaus and Liselotte Rebm 3:55£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Zweite Szene - "Hier bin ich, Vater"Barbro Ericson and Berliner Philharmoniker and Carlotta Ordassy and Cvetka Ahlin and Danica Mastilovic and Helga Jenckel and Herbert von Karajan and Ingrid Steger and Lilo Brockhaus and Liselotte Rebm 8:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Dritte Szene - Einleitung (Finale)Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan 1:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Dritte Szene - "War es so schmählich?"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Régine Crespin and Thomas Stewart 9:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Dritte Szene - So tatest du, was so gern zu tun ich begehrtBerliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Régine Crespin and Thomas Stewart 9:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Dritte Szene - Nicht streb, o Maid, den Mut mir zu stören (Wotan, Brünnhilde)Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Régine Crespin and Thomas Stewart 4:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Dritte Szene - "Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Thomas Stewart 5:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Dritte Szene - Der Augen leuchtendes PaarBerliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Thomas Stewart 6:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Dritte Szene - "Loge, hör! Lausche hieher!"Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan and Thomas Stewart 1:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Wagner: Die Walküre - Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen" / Dritter Aufzug / Dritte Szene - FeuerzauberBerliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan 3:49£0.79  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Dylan T. Hayden on 14 Mar. 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is the highlight of Karajan's much-maligned and under-rated Ring Cycle, although one which emhasises purely musical values over dramatic ones. The cast is first-rate: Janowitz is quite simply the most beautiful Sieglinde on record, undramatic perhaps, but singing with radiant, youthful beauty. Vickers gives a characteristically intense performance as Siegmund, only slightly marred by a sort of crooning delivery in quieter passages, must noticeably in the famous "Wintersturme" song. Crespin makes an unusually youthful Brunnhilde, ideally balancing the sensual and heroic in her fine characterisation. Some find Stewart lachrymose and unsubtle as Wotan, but his singing is powerful and musical, with much firmer and more pleasing tone than the aging Hans Hotter could muster for Solti's celebrated account of the tetralogy. Underpinning all of this fine singing is the unparalleled playing of the BPO, the real stars of the recording, and the gorgeous, detailed interpretation of Karajan. No other recording of Walkure can match this one for the sheer beauty and intensity of the orchestral sound, and the masterly shaping of the whole if it were one grand symphony. The recorded sound is acceptable, though not outstanding for the time. There is noticeable tape hiss, and the remastering seems to have brought the voices forward and created an unnatural sound picture which compares unfavourably with the old LPs. In spite of this, lovers of fine Wagner singing, conducting and orchestral playing should find much to delight them here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Swallow on 7 Jun. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Karajan's Walkure is rather special. It might be cast with some lighter voices than usual, Vicker's virile Seigmund excepted, but Karajan is masterly in supporting the singers with his handling of the mighty Berlin orchestra. The whole thing lives and breathes, roaring through the storms and murmuring with the magic fire. Crespin's Brunnhilde is a bit strained at times but she convincingly plays the young Valkyrie. Janowitz's singing is dreamlike and Srewart's Wotan is sturdy and well sung. As for Vickers, he was one of the greatest of all Seigmunds. The result is a hugely satisfying reading of this opera. The recording is superb.
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By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 5 Mar. 2015
Format: Audio CD
Time has been kind to this recording - indeed to Karajan's "Ring" in general. Once I have got over the inadvisability of Fischer-Dieskau's Wotan, it is mostly a winner all the way, through to the splendid, if slightly undercast, "Götterdämmerung". I recently upgraded my estimation of the "Siegfried" and found myself wondering what anyone ever found to complain about and the same applies to this "Walküre". If I whisked you in my time machine back to the mid-60's from these days of Wagnerian dearth to hear arguably the best opera conductor of the 20C directing the world's greatest orchestra starring some of the most stellar voices ever to sing Wagner, I think you'd get my point. I can't but this recording is as close as we are going to get.

Whether Tristan or Siegmund was Jon Vickers' greatest assumption is debatable but he is simply phenomenal here: powerful, sensitive, subtle, thrilling, moving - he is the absolute Siegmund here. He is accompanied by the splendid Gundula Janowitz, no doubt marginally assisted by the DG sound engineers, but let's have no disparaging nonsense as we find in a previous review about her being "a Mozart singer" (as if that were a disqualification) unwillingly thrust into a role several sizes too big her. For goodness' sake, the woman sang Elsa, Elisabeth, Eva and Gutrune in Wagner, Elisabetta in Verdi's "Don Carlo", "Leonora in "Fidelio" and the big Strauss heroines, all to acclaim; if she were some tweety-voiced parvenue she could hardly have done that - a blip at the Met notwithstanding (the place is a barn, anyway). Talvela is a force of nature as Hunding, massive and menacing like contemporaries Frick, Ridderbusch, Langdon, Hotter, Ward, Nienstedt et al; where is their like today?
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1 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ute-Karin Ridger on 14 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I only listen with delight and awe to the wonderful voice of Jonas Kaufmann otherwise I found the voices of the women shrill and unpleasant and the voice of Wotan weak and wobbly. Having read some of then reviews I expected so much more.I am glad I bought afterwards the Karajan recording with G.Janowtz and listen to Janowsky's recording of the Ring. I am sorry to be so negative and this of course is only my personal view.UKR
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
A Monumental Achievement. Crespin and Stewart Shine 12 Jun. 2010
By Henry8 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This DGG Walkure with Karajan was released originally when London or Decca released its Walkure with Solti rival at the same time. So comparisons flew fast and furiously. Solti has James King as Siegmund, Crespin as Sieglinde, one of her signature parts, Nilsson as Brunnhilde but the very aging Hans Hotter as Wotan. The Wotan (Hotter) was a real problem and rendered the performance personably unlistenable until its redubbing and reissue on CD decades later. Now it is great. The presence of Nilsson and Crespin and Ludwig, and a mellowing of Hotters Timbre all in their primes explain this.

At the same time, Karajan and DGG issued its answer. And the opera world went into orbit. This recording was glorious in every way and revelatory in many ways. Janowitz as Sieglinde was terribly miscast, carried that miscasting to the Met as a debut role, and never returned to that house afterwards. Karajan had the young Thomas Stewart as Wotan, Jon Vickers as Siegmund, Josephine Veasey as Frika, and Regine Crespin as Brunhilde. And therein lies the tale.Karajan had wanted Nilsson for Brunhilde and she was contracted to Decca and could not record it for DGG. She was chomping at the bit to sing Sieglinde in the recording and karajan's refusal to engage her for the part lead her to withdraw form the Met's Ring, since Manager Rudoph Bing refused to intervene with Karajan on Miss Nilsson's behalf. Nilsson blinked and the Met's ring proceeded albeit with hysterical tantrums and news conferences and gossip coming out of the Met's Press office and the New York Times.

But to the recording.
The Act starts with Jon Vickers in what was his greatest role. He is stupendous and heroic and brooding. Janowitz who was a Mozart Lyric Soprano was very sincere but produced an unconventional sound, wanting in volume and intensity, but but well supported by the orchestra and the Engineers. Veasey as Frick was very interesting, though I cannot say she ever achieves greatness in this part, plus her competitor on Decca was Ludwig. Stewart was quite moving as Wotan, producing quite beautiful tones. He is not tired by the effort nor are we. Then there was Crespin as Brunhilde and therein hangs the tale.

Crespin reaches a greatness in that part that few singers in anything can match-maybe Leontyne Price in Carmen, Norman as Cassandra, Tebaldi as Mimi. The voice is large enough for the part. She is never overwhelmed by the orchestra. And she does not tire by the end, something that cannot be said of her as Sieglinde. The ho jo toho is shockingly brilliant--a surprise to all because we all thought that that aria would bring her to grief. She was not a High voiced soprano and had a tendency to flatten on sustained high notes. She was magnificent in that aria and it was later revealed that she was tricked into thinking that she would be recording a "take" and not the actual session. Apparently she relaxed and the high notes soared to the high Heavens. In those parts of introspection and quiet thought, Crespin eclipsed all of her competitors and made a convincing case for her interpretation. Following her performance with the libretto moves the listener inside the mind of the goddess and you become intimately involved with her as she moves inexorably to the final tragedy. Hers is not the only interpretation of that part and one may still prefer Nilsson, Flagstad, Leider and Traubel all in the heroic mode. But once you hear Crespin's Brunnhilde, you will never be able to let the experience go.

Karajan was up to the task. Everybody comes in on time, which did not always happen in live performance where you cannot do retakes. He accompanies the singers as if this were a French piece providing a heavy cushion of sound for the singers, You can hear and understand every word and yet in the solo orchestral parts he can produce sound and intensity that other conductors only dream about. He conducts the Walkure of one's dreams. Remember, Nilsson and Varnay did not think he was that good a conductor. Varnay refused to sing in Bayreuth with him and Nilsson crusaded against him as an incompetent and never relaxed when she worked with him. So there was no Nilsson-Vickers Karajan Tristan as a result. The Tristan with Bohm--a sincere non entity in my opinion. Vickers would never perform with Solti after their Aida recording with Price together.

So where do we stand on this Walkure? It is as good as any Walkure can be. Janowitz can be replaced with Crespin/Karajan or Rysanek/Karajan, Norman/Vickers and recently Flagstad-Melchior first acts if you like. I always do. And While Nilsson is irreplaceble as Brunhilde, Crespin cannot be ignored. Try it. You'll see. Every Wagner collector will have to have this Walkure in your collection for Crespin and Stewart's Wotan, Vickers and the Magnicent Berlin PHilarmonic under Karajan.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
One of the best opera recordings 28 Jan. 2013
By Arthur B. Schroeck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
My favorite Ring recordings are Rhinegold - Solti Siegfried - Janowski Gotterdammerung Bohm in fact if I had to pick one whole Ring it would be Bohm's. But Karajan's Walkure is, I think, one of the greatest opera recordings of all time. The sound of it is like nothing I've heard before. There is so much soul in the conducting, The orchestra and the singers.
Karajan's directions to the singers is interesting. According to Vicker's bio, He was holding back on a rehearsal and Karajan said to him that's the way on want you to sing it when we record. I understand that was his direction to the rest of the cast. The section he sings, after his encounter with Brunnhilde, could never be sung on the stage like that. By the way Vickers (and Pavorotti) are my favorite tenors. Crespin is my all time favorite Brunnhilde. The only thing I don't like about her is that she didn't finish the whole ring in that part. Janowitz as Sieglinde is the most feminine in that part I have ever heard She sounds like a battered wife and my heart goes out to her. Stewart is My favorite Wotan. I think Veasey's performance, on the live Salzburg recording, is much better Talvela is good but sometimes his voice annoys me.
This would have been a perfect recording with Ludwig as Fricka and Ridderbusch as Hunding.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Flawless 11 Mar. 2013
By Jordan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Die Walkure, even without the rest of "Der Ring", is IMO the greatest piece of music ever written. Despite being over 3.5 hours long (2x the length of Mahler's 3rd and longest symphony), there is not a single moment that isn't musically captivating.

Karajan has produced what I believe to be the perfect recording of Die Walkure. The singers are phenomenal. One that really stands out, however, is Gundula Janowitz as Sieglinde. Good lord, there can't possibly be a better Sieglinde. Her voice is light, youthful, at at the same time, able to hit all of the notes. You just don't hear that every day. Also, the orchestra is truly outstanding. There's really just too much I could say about this recording to even try.

If you like Die Walkure, or even like late-Romantic music in general (I was brought to Wagner via Mahler), just get this recording, you won't be disappointed
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Karajan and Crespin make this Walküre a must-have 26 July 2014
By pekinman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Okay, so I understand all the hyperbole relating to this Karajan recording of Die Walküre. I was not impressed by Act I mainly due to Janowitz's being miscast as Sieglinde, beautiful as her voice was she was not born to sing this kind of role. There are times in Act I when Vickers and Janowitz bring to mind Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald with Die Meister milking the everlasting daylights out of the schmaltzier episodes and adding on an echo chamber to emphasize the 'romance' of it all. Trouble is, Siegmund and Sieglinde are not romantic creatures, but characters of such shocking and primal carnality as to be totally unacceptable even by today's standards in lower Manhattan or West Hollywood. I love lower Manhattan and West Hollywood but they are what they are. Karajan pasteurizes this Wagner by a wide margin, to the point where it becomes more of a Puccini moment than a Wagnerian one.

Karajan's conducting, for the most part in the purely orchestral passages, are splendid. He starts with a quick and fierce opening storm. Then Vickers arrives. Jon Vickers long and illustrious career, on stage and recording, is most memorable to me from seeing him live at The Met in 1983 as Peter Grimes, his recording of Énée in Berlioz's Les Troyens with Colin Davis, and most notably, his magnificent Otello for Tullio Serafin with Leonie Rysanek on RCA. In that great recording he is the embodiment of the young impassioned warrior (yowza!) and no one has yet come close to his performance in that recording, not even Domingo or Vinay or anyone else I've heard in that part. Here, as Siegmund, he is in 'showing off' mode, on his best behavior, crooning romantically (Nelson Eddy again) and exaggerating every emotion. I don't think Siegmund was exactly a subtle guy. Vickers' 'Winterstürme' is crooned within a halo of echo-chamber effect which is, frankly, nauseating. This is not a Disney movie but a gritty, amoral, animalistic tragedy of star-crossed siblings/lovers that should never be sentimentalized, but often is.

Gundula Janowitz sings in her usual lovely way, a great Mozartian, but she is NOT a Sieglinde. Karajan often chose inappropriate sopranos for roles one, even two, sizes to large for their voices; Ricciarelli's Turandot and Freni's Aida come immediately to mind. Those two ladies did a credible job of it in spite of not being vocally apt for either of those roles, but Janowitz does not succeed, unless you like a pretty pretty vulnerable milquetoast Sieglinde. I do not. Sieglinde is half goddess and half she-wolf. Julia Varady hits the nail on the head in her eviscerating performance for Sawallisch in Munich (live on EMI), and Rysanek also has the necessary cathartic and hysterical mindset of an enraged an profoundly grief-stricken and primal animal.
Janowitz is a washout. Martti Talvela's ur-type-A macho bear is way too much, but he sings magnificently.
He's much finer as Fasolt in the previous Das Rheingold, perhaps the greatest Fasolt ever.
Aside from the crooning Siegmund moments etc Karajan's direction of Act I is extremely good, though he occasionally lurches from bits to pieces, especially at the end when the tempo suddenly surges forward, out of character and without build up. A bit of false excitement mongering going on, but that is rather a typical thing in this very cinematic and 'false' performance. Musically HvK's Act I is outstanding, but dramatically I am reminded of those older films of German opera from the 1960s when Agathe (Der Freischütz) has a bouffant hair do. Like that.

Act II is another thing altogether. Régine Crespin's Brünnhilde is magnificent and it is a great huge awful shame she did not record the other two Brünnhildes in this cycle. Her Ho-jo-to-hos are wonderful. Warm voiced, highly charged yet feminine. She IS Wotan's favorite daughter and has therefore been taught Passion, not just in a warlike sense but in a way that we in the past century have come to refer to as possessing Heart. Yes, Nilsson's steely voice is thrilling, but so is Crespin's softer grained yet powerful instrument. Thomas Stewart's Wotan is a shocking sea-change from Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's neurotic wimp in Das Rheingold. He is thoughtful without being maudlin or 'sensitive'. This Wotan is all male yet possessed of, again, Heart. To top off the exemplary nature of this act in this recording there is the superb Fricka of Josephine Veasey. This great British mezzo-soprano is right up near the top of the heap in Walküre Frickas, along with Christa Ludwig (Solti) and Waltraud Meier (Haitink), two of my favorites.
Veasey's voice is extremely beautiful, feminine and powerful. Incisive without being a shrew, but there is no doubt she is a goddess to be reckoned with. She doesn't decimate Wotan and Brünnhilde like Waltraud Meier does, but she is equally imperious and not to be trifled with.

Crespin's Todesverkundigung is extremely beautiful, angelic, not threatening but loving and inviting.
Vickers comes alive, vocally, with a singer possessing his level of vocal power, beauty and dramatic sense, compared to his crooning and phony tenderness with Janowitz's 'victim' Sieglinde. When will it be accepted by the mainstream Wagner opera world that Sieglinde is NOT a victim. She is a victimizer and Hunding is a duped GOOD man, primitive perhaps, but honorable. She is a sneaky vindictive shrew until Siegmund comes along and awakens her sexual instincts, and how! What a shame he's her twin brother, eh?

Act III is tremendous. Karajan's Ride of the Valkyries is unique in that it emphasizes, excessively I thought at first, the violin flourishes and the horns in their bumptious obstinatos, but after a few seconds of it the whole beings to make thrilling sense. The DG sound of the day is a bit too bright and harsh on top which emphasizes the high register of the violins, but it works! I have never before noticed the essential chordal changes in the violin swoops before. It brings to mind many a Hollywood Western but one is immediately appreciative of the fact that THIS is the birth place of ALL Hollywood swashbuckling scores. The effect here is electrifying. HvK's eight valkyries are a fine group, led by the very strong sopranos of Danica Mastilovic (Helmwige) and Liselotte Rebmann (Gerhilde). Karajan tinkers with the parts a little bit, doubling lines here and there, but that is often done in the theater so that lines are not lost by one singer trying to breast the tidal wave of sound coming from the orchestra. Even Gundula Janowitz rises magnificently to the challenge of what has gone on around her with a heart-rending and vocally resplendent, within her capabilities of volume, 'O herstes Wunder!' This is a truly memorable and GREAT rendition of the Ride and ensuing action leading up to Wotan's enraged entrance. Crespin's rendering of Brünnhilde's shock and awe are unforgettable. Tears were suddenly streaming during her exhortations to Sieglinde to flee alone into the wilderness and save your son, Siegfried. Karajan's ecstatic direction is overwhelming in the way only he could achieve in these emotionally cathartic moments. One of the greatest renditions of this scene I can recall on record.

The ending of Act III is very beautiful. Crespin's gorgeous soprano with Stewart's noble and expressive baritone voice make for a very moving close to this wonderful opera. Normally I prefer a bass-baritone to a pure baritone, like Stewart's, but his intelligence and fundamental vocal beauty and superb technique mitigate any considerations about his not having that bass foundation as possessed by singers like Hans Hotter (Solti, Keilberth, Krauss, Knappertsbusch and others), Robert Hale (Sawallisch and Dohnanyi), Theo Adam (Böhm) and Ferdinand Frantz (all three of Furtwängler's recordings) who are my touchstones for great Wotans.

Crespin's final scene before Wotan kisses her to sleep is profoundly moving, her beautiful voice soaring over the huge wave of orchestral sound as she relives flying through the air on her horse Grane, the Valkyrie!
Stewart's broken heart is devastatingly conveyed.

In conclusion this is a terrific recording of Die Walküre. A few allowances must be made for Janowtiz's light soprano in this part and Vickers' overly histrionic Siegmund. But when Crespin, Stewart and Veasey appear in Act II it is an entirely different and superb story. And Karajan's direction is the sort of thing he did that made him a Wizard of the podium.

I am on the fence, as a rule, about Karajan's Wagner. He made two (each) Parsifal and Tristan recordings that are both famous, justifiably so, but his recordings of the pre-Ring operas are more controversial.
His Ring recording here, his ONLY recordings of these operas available commercially, are challenging to assess in a short review. On the whole this Walküre is a great success, due mostly to the great Brünnhilde of Régine Crespin and, of course, Karajan's splendid conducting, when he isn't over-egging the pudding in Act I.

I recommend you purchase this opera with the entire Ring set on offer from DG. They are stingy in their printed material in this latest release, no photos of the singers, which stinks if you ask me, but plenty of drama shots of Der Meister. But there is a complete libretto and that's all you need.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mais où sont les neiges d'antan! 5 Mar. 2015
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Time has been kind to this recording - indeed to Karajan's "Ring" in general. Once I have got over the inadvisability of Fischer-Dieskau's Wotan, it is mostly a winner all the way, through to the splendid, if slightly undercast, "Götterdämmerung". I recently upgraded my estimation of the "Siegfried" and found myself wondering what anyone ever found to complain about and the same applies to this "Walküre". If I whisked you in my time machine back to the mid-60's from these days of Wagnerian dearth to hear arguably the best opera conductor of the 20C directing the world's greatest orchestra starring some of the most stellar voices ever to sing Wagner, I think you'd get my point. I can't but this recording is as close as we are going to get.

Whether Tristan or Siegmund was Jon Vickers' greatest assumption is debatable but he is simply phenomenal here: powerful, sensitive, subtle, thrilling, moving - he is the absolute Siegmund here. He is accompanied by the splendid Gundula Janowitz, no doubt marginally assisted by the DG sound engineers, but let's have no disparaging nonsense as we find in a previous review about her being "a Mozart singer" (as if that were a disqualification) unwillingly thrust into a role several sizes too big her. For goodness' sake, the woman sang Elsa, Elisabeth, Eva and Gutrune in Wagner, Elisabetta in Verdi's "Don Carlo", "Leonora in "Fidelio" and the big Strauss heroines, all to acclaim; if she were some tweety-voiced parvenue she could hardly have done that - a blip at the Met notwithstanding (the place is a barn, anyway). Talvela is a force of nature as Hunding, massive and menacing like contemporaries Frick, Ridderbusch, Langdon, Hotter, Ward, Nienstedt et al; where is their like today?

Thomas Stewart is a not especially subtle but tireless, noble-voiced Wotan; the last scene is simply glorious, with the BPO in full cry. His mate is the still under-rated Josephine Veasy who might not have quite Ludwig's intensity but certainly does the part justice. Crespin is not my favourite Brünnhilde but this is her finest hour, the slight edge in her voice irrelevant as she has the heft and stamina and acts convincingly. In many ways this studio recoding is more homogeneous and satisfying than Solti's from the year before, which has always struck me as the weakest link in Solti's "Ring" with its ageing, audibly labouring Hotter, Crespin less appropriately cast as Sieglinde and James King, for all his merits, yielding to Vickers in terms of both voice and interpretation.

My preferred "Walküre" remains the superb, 1961 Leinsdorf studio recording with a young Vickers, Birgit Nilsson and George London but this Karajan recording runs it close, lacking only the last visceral thrill at climactic moments, Karajan tending to emphasise the more lyrical elements.
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