Live recording in stereo from
Festspielhaus Bayreuth
Conductor: Karl Böhm
Brünnhilde Birgit Nilsson
Siegfried Wolfgang Windgassen
Hagen Josef Greindl
Alberich Gustav Neidlinger
Gunther Thomas Stewart
Gutrune Ludmilla Dvoráková
Waltraute Martha Mödl
Woglinde Dorothea Siebert
Wellgunde Helga Dernesch
Flo▀hilde Sieglinde Wagner
1. Norne Marga Höffgen
2. Norne Annelies Burmeister
3. Norne Anja Silja
Chor und Orchester der
Bayreuther Festspiele
Philips, 412 488-2 4 CDs ADD
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Review by Graham Clark

Strangely enough for a Bayreuth "Ring", the Götterdämmerung of Böhm's set remains at the same high standards as the rest of his recording. This is partly thanks to the outstanding Brünnhilde of Birgit Nilsson, who is nothing short of awsome in the Final Scene. (In the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs, I read that she herself has always preferred this version to the one she did for Solti, which is also very good.) Mainly it is the spectacularly exciting conducting from Maestro Böhm, however, which has made this (and the rest of the cycle) recording so succesful.

The sound quality (or is it the playing?) does not always do justice to the orchestra. The brass is often to closely miked, for example, even though this is less evident than in the other operas. The singing is generally very fine, except for the fruity Gutrune of Ludmila Dvoráková. Windgassen is wonderful as Siegfried, even if he is sometimes undermined by the microphines, and Josef Greidl is a magnificent Hagen.

Despite some trifling objections raised above, this recording of Götterdämmerung is matched only by Solti's, and possibly several others (though Bayreuth itself has never re-achieved this standard). Note that Böhm's speeds, though very fast, are not ones which will rush you, but just the opposite. As with his Tristan, his choice of speeds for the entire "Ring" make me feel as if I am really experiencing it.

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.