Studio recording in stereo
August 25-December 30, 1966
|Conductor: Herbert von Karajan|
|Siegmund|| ||Jon Vickers|
|Wotan|| ||Thomas Stewart|
|Hunding|| ||Martti Talvela|
Review by Graham Clark|
Karajan's cycle has always been treated as an alternative to Solti's
classic. It is an excellent recording, but has many flaws. My prime
problems with it are:
• Under-dramatisized conducting
• Uninvolved orchestra (technically impressive, though)
• Singers without experience
These three problems are least stressed in Die Walküre. While Karajan
is on no one's list as the greatest Wagner conductor, he gives an
intelligent reading, well supported by the Berliner Philharmoniker.
In the cast, Vickers is a wonderful Siegmund: dramatic, at ease with
the part, and strong voiced. His voice is rougher than usual, but so
what? As for his Sieglinde, Gundula Janowitz is very sweet and virile
of voice, but strangely unmemorable. Talvela is a perfect Hunding
though, and Veasey makes one of the best Fricka's on disc.
Thomas Stewart may not have just the right voice for Wotan, but is
dramatically alright. Similarly, Crespin does not have a very strong
voice for Brünnhilde, but gives one of the few readings without any
intrusive shrieks. While Karajan's Walküre may not be a first choice
compared to, say, Böhm's but is one of the finer on disc in any case!
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.