As in my review of Rhinegold in this same series (sung in English), the main performance point that stands out is that the parts are beautifully sung. As in the previous instalment, there are times I wished a bit more bite, particularly in this set where Hunding's part is concerned, but the famous Valkyrie scenes do not disappoint, add to that the sense of being able to follow the drama, this makes a fantastic follow up to the first in the series (i.e. Rhinegold, which is where you should start in my opinion, as it is the prequel to the story and the essential part of setting the scene). The stand out section of this live performance, for me, unusually as it is probably the least well known due to lack of big tunes .... is the Fricka/Wotan exchanges that seal Siegmund's fate. The diction is so clear that being able to follow the plot while listening to the CD, makes this one of the most essential parts of the set, as it rightly should be, since it is one of the essential sections of the "plot" development.
The only cast criticism I have, is for Alberto Remedios. Whilst his heroic tenor singing is excellent, his diction is not so good and he is the one I found most difficult to follow. If I had not known the story beforehand and without the aid of the libretto in front, I would find it difficult to follow him as part of the drama. Luckily Sieglinde makes up for it when they're singing together so it is a diction shortcoming in this entire set which I am happy to put up with when listening again.
My benchmark in terms of ultimate performance and drama is the Solti/Nilsson German (original libretto) sung set and in terms of overall performance (the sung language aside) Solti is still difficult to beat for my tastes, but I am very happy to have the Goodall English set alongside, as they are different enough (with Goodall's slower more measured performances, vs Solti's more dramatic and brisker tempi) to appreciate depending on mood and ... time on your hands of course.
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