|Meistersinger von Nürnberg|
Live recording in mono from
Bayerische Staatsoper, München
December 10, 1949
|Conductor: Eugen Jochum|
|Hans Sachs|| ||Hans Hotter|
|Veit Pogner|| |
|Kunz Vogelgesang|| |
|Konrad Nachtigall|| |
|Sixtus Beckmesser|| |
|Fritz Kothner|| |
|Balthasar Zorn|| |
|Ulrich Ei▀linger|| |
|Augustin Moser|| |
|Hermann Ortel|| |
Fritz Richard Bender
|Hans Schwarz|| |
|Hans Foltz|| |
|Walther von Stolzing|| |
|Ein Nachtwächter|| |
Fritz Richard Bender
|Chor und Orchester der|
|MYTO, MCD 994.H035
Walküre act 1 with Hilde Konetzni,
Günther Treptow and Herbert Alsen under Rudolf Moralt.
Also available complete.
Review by Davyd Melnyk|
I offer this review as a counterpart to the existing one on Cluytens'
1956 set featuring Hotter. This recording also stars Hotter as Sachs,
but without the annoying sound defects of that Music and Arts release.
I'm sure we won't fall out over 5 seconds of distortion when Beckmesser
accuses Sachs of wooing intentions (from 'Ja, war es das').
Having heard both I would be inclined to say that Hotter's singing is
also preferable in this account. Windgassen's Walther, sadly, can't be
matched here, although Treptow is on much better form than in the
La Scala Ring, a year later, and sings with artistry and dramatic verity
if occasionally reminding one of Kollo through the imperfections of his
Kusche was famous for his Beckmessers and this is his first on record,
the traditional blend of singing and caricature is offered, but the
latter is minimal enough to avoid offending those who prefer the role
played relatively straight. Kupper as Eva is occasionally prone to
wobble, but has great beauty and intensity, particularly at 'O Sachs,
mein Freund' - one of the most moving versions of this that I have
ever heard. I would certainly place her ahead of Brouwenstijn, as I
would Kusche above Schmitt-Walter.
The Pogner, Proebstl, is pleasing enough if not quite up to the true
star quality of Ridderbusch in 1970. Kuen is a very fine David and
has an almost equally good Magdalene in Michaels.
Where this set really buries the Music and Arts release is in the
conducting. Cluytens is uninspired for half the opera, and is not
exceptional even in Act III. Jochum, by contrast, is uniformly
brilliant, never dropping below a very high standard and occasionally
reaching the sublime - perhaps the most tender instrumental support
ever given to Act I's famous chorale. Elsewhere in Act III he offers
a truly idiomatic blend of the festive and the aesthetic, and if his
preludes can't quite stand up to Bayreuth '43 this is only because
no one ever has. Fans of his later DG set will need little convincing,
perhaps still less when I assure them that his '49 reading is the
better conducted as well as the better sung. All seem uplifted by the
special occasion of a first performance of Die Meistersinger in Munich
since the war.
The final word must go to Hotter's Sachs. Ceaselessly expressive, a
wonderful response to the Wittenberg Nightingale chorus in Act III
shows some of Hotter's tone shading at its best. A Wahn monologue
to rival even Schorr's, and - dare I say it ? - perhaps a Flieder
monologue that surpasses his illustrious predecessor. All is topped
off by a truly stirring rendition of 'Verachtet mir'.
Although 50 years old and a live recording - which is actually usually
an advantage in Die Meistersinger - the sound is absolutely fine for
all but 5 mercifully brief seconds; the occasional creaking of stage
floorboards actually endeared the set to me still further - who wants
to believe that Wagner takes place in a Platonic vacuum? Hotter
maniacs will want to own both performances but those with less cash
or enthusiasm should turn to Myto and one of the great Meistersingers.
Oddly enough, the Cluytens set mentions this one as an unavailable
El Dorado. Music and Arts gave us a voice crying in the wilderness;
Myto has brought the redeemer.