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A minor correction,
This review is from: Strauss: Four Last Songs; Final Scenes (Audio CD)
Just a quick point about the first performance of the Four Last Songs. When Kirsten Flagstad sang them for the first time, in 1952, she was at the end of her active singing career, not at the beginning. She retired from the stage two years later. She made her reputation as Isolde and Brunhilde in the thirties and forties.