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Classic Wagner in good 50's sound,
This review is from: Wagner: Die Walkure (Audio CD)
This is a splendid studio version of Die Walkure, recorded in Vienna in 1954 by one of the acknowledged masters at the end of his career. The mono sound is bright and clear. Ludwig Suthaus is a passionate and masculine hero, with warmth of tone and great humanity, and is well matched to Rysanek's sweet and feminine Sieglinde. Martha Modl, possibly the most striking and attractive looking of Wagnerian sopranos, was also a great actress, and I suspect one had to actually see her, to get the full imapct of her performances. She could convey a whole world of feeling and meaning by just walking from one side of the stage to the other! On records she does not always come across so well: her tone could be very harsh and slightly forced. Nevertheless, there is tremendous power and commitment in her performance, and her vocal tone sounds much better here than on some of her many live Wagner recordings. Ferdinand Frantz is one of my favourite Wotans: he has the authority and feeling of Hans Hotter without the infamous Hotter "wobble". All in all, a marvellous cast on fine form, singing with a first class orchestra and a brilliant conductor. The sound quality was state of the art for 1954. What a pity Furtwangler did not live to complete what was intended as a complete studio Ring Cycle.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Aug 2008 16:06:15 BDT
Dag Kyndel says:
I am afraid that the whole of Act 3 is conducted by Herbert von Karajan as Dr. Furtwängler already had passed away when the Act 3 session began. I have heard this rumour several times, but I really do not know if it's true. One could of course ask EMI...
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Nov 2008 01:18:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Oct 2009 21:36:28 BDT
Fal Parsi says:
My copy of this performance gives the recording dates as 28 September to 6 October 1954; Furtwängler died the following month on 30 November 1954.
Posted on 1 Feb 2009 08:58:16 GMT
M. Almond says:
If Furtwangler did not conduct the 3rd Act, it is certainly not Karajan. The two conductors approached Wagner very differently, and Karajan was hardly the type to make an agreement with Victor Olof to make his performance sound like Furtwangler. It is possible that some other conductors were involved. Who else was around in Vienna at the time and signed up to EMI?
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2010 15:57:24 GMT
Guy Roberts says:
Act 111 certainly was conducted by Furtwangler. The style is unmistakable - check out the deliberately low powered Ride which was tailored to Martha Modl's low powered voice.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Sep 2011 18:03:46 BDT
According to EMI all three acts are conducted by Furtwängler and nobody else.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2012 13:12:24 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jan 2012 13:13:37 GMT
Dag Kyndel says:
Many thanks. I am relieved!
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