This live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera dates from December 6th 1941 - the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbour.....but that's not where the historic signifigance ends.
Helen Traubel, one of the finest Wagnerian sopranos of the century, was singing her first Walkure Brunnhilde......and what a triumph it is!! She is in excellent form, a match for any other Brunnhilde on disc.
Even more importantly, this is the first ever stage appearance of Astrid Varnay - a last minute substitute for the ailing Lotte Lehmann. Her Sieglinde is powerfully and beautifully sung.
These two sopranos are ably supported by the inimitable Lauritz Melchior as a thrilling Siegfried, Kerstin Thorborg as a powerful Fricka and Alexander Kipnis as a resonant Hunding.
Friedrich Schorr, one of the greatest Wotans of the century, is a little past his best here, but it is still easy to hear why he was applauded so highly in this role.
Erich Leinsdorf conducts the forces of the Metropolitan Opera with gusto, and the sound quality is very good for such an historic recording.
At this bargian price from Naxos, this set is well worth investigating.