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The Bayreuth Heroine Box set
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One of the most famous dramatic sopranos of her day, Astrid Varnay was highly regarded and championed by all the great conductors of the time. The recordings on this 10-CD collection all come from the 1950s and present her at the peak of her powers. They include some of her greatest performances in the operas of Wagner, Verdi, Richard Strauss, and Beethoven.
Astrid Varnay began her European career at Bayreuth in 1951. Although still only 30, there had already been ten successful years in the USA. Her triumphant debut took place on the stage of the New York Metropolitan Opera. The young singer was preparing her first stage role, Elsa in 'Lohengrin' when Erich Leinsdorf engaged her to take the place of Lotte Lehmann, who through illness had cancelled her appearance as Sieglinde in a 'Walküre' performance on 6 December 1941. A few days later, for the second performance, Helen Traubel (Brünnhilde) was indisposed and Astrid Varnay took on this formidable role at short notice. This double debut is still today a unique chapter in the history of the 'Met'.
This comprehensive anthology features excerpts from Die Walküre, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, Der Fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, Parsifal, Tristan und Isolde, Electra, Salome, Der Rosenkavalier, Fidelio, Macbeth, Aida, Il Trovatore, Don Carlos, A Masked Ball, The Force of Destiny, La Gioconda, Thaïs, Cavalleria Rusticana and other operas.
Top Customer Reviews
In this 10 CD set the singer is heard in her familiar Wagnerian roles of Sieglinde, Brünnhilde [in Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdammerung], Elsa, Ortrud [perhaps her greatest role alongside Brünnhilde}, Elisabeth, Isolde, Senta and Kundry, as well as in Strauss’ Electra, Salome and Der Rosenkavalier, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Verdi’s Macbeth, Aida, Il Travatore, Don Carlo, A Masked Ball and The Force of Destiny, Ponchielli’s La Giaconda, Massenet’s Thaïs, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and Halévy’s La Juive. She are also performances of Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and Beethoven’s Ah perfido, op. 65.
In many recordings, Varnay is heard with her mentor, coach and, latterly, husband, the conductor, Hermann Weigert, 1890-1955, whom she met in 1937 through Flagstad, who was also a mentor to the younger singer. Many of the Wagnerian excerpts are taken from live performances at Bayreuth [under Knappertsbusch (1951 and 1955), Karajan (1951), Jochum (1953), Keilberth (1955 and 1956), von Matačić (1959) and Maazel (1960)] and the Met [under Leinsdorf (1941 and 1943), Fritz Tiedry (1954) and Kempe (1955)]. She is also heard as the Marschallin in Reiner’s live 1953 Met performance of Der Rosenkavelier.Read more ›
This is one of the top quality box sets of 10 CDs,of which I already have (1)Franco Corelli and (2) Jussi Bjorling.All cost in the region of £11,including postage,and are well worth the low cost.
ou will not regret it !
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To my mind,perhaps greater then Flagstadt,a fabulous Wagnerian,and her other recordings prove her to be more than just Brunnhilde(did I say "just"?). Read morePublished 9 months ago by Music Lover