Review by Charles E. Muntz|
Like the other recordings in his cycle, the best thing about Karajan's
Götterdämmerung is the orchestral playing of the Berlin Philharmonic,
which is outstanding in every way. Karajan's conducting leaves much
to be desired, however. It is overly polished, bland, and uninvolving,
although there are a few nice, poetic moments.
Likewise, the cast leaves much to be desired. Helga Dernesch tries very
hard as Brünnhilde, but she is well out of her depth and certainly no
match for Nilsson. Helge Brilioth is an improvement over Jess Thomas,
but still inadequate as Siegfried. Janowitz (Gutrune), Kelemen (Alberich)
and Ridderbusch (Hagen) are all better than adequate, but there are better
singers of the roles on many other recordings.
The best singers are Thomas Stewart as Gunther and Christa Ludwig as
Waltraute. Stewart takes what is normally a most unrewarding role and
makes Gunther into a truly interesting character. But he can be heard
with a better cast for Karl Böhm. Ludwig’s Waltraute is scared, desperate
and brilliantly sung, but she is just as good for Solti.
In short, the few strengths this recording has can be found in other
recordings without many of the failings. I really can’t recommend this
to any but a Karajan nut or a Ring enthusiast who has to have every
recording of the work.
This review is from the now closed Wagner on the Web and it is published
without the author's consent. I haven't been able to get in touch with him.
If the author reads this, please contact me as soon as possible. If you
don't want it here, I'll take it of the site immediately.