Studio recording in stereo
|Conductor: James Levine|
|Hagen|| ||Matti Salminen|
|1. Norne|| |
|2. Norne|| |
|3. Norne|| |
Orchestra and Chorus
Review by Graham Clark|
Levine's recording of Götterdämmerung, when compared to other
modern performances of the work is not very good: it's terrific!
First, there is an outstanding cast, the peak of which is the
Brünnhilde of Hildegard Behrens. She conveys an unusually
spontaneous warmth of tone, and loses not a bit of the dramatic
ability of her rivals. She was the Metropolitan Opera's prime
Brünnhilde, and this recording amply proves why. Matti Salminen
had already recorded a magnificent Hagen for Janowski, and this
re-reading of the role shows him with more control over his massive
voice (even if some of its former energy is missing).
As Hagen's half-siblings, Bernd Weikl and Cheryl Studer are very
good; both make their roles more sympathetic than usual, even if the
latter's Gutrune is not as sweet as say Janowitz's, or as vulnerable
as Watson's. Reiner Goldberg (Siegfried) is no "heldentenor", but he
tries hard, and though his result may be a little light, I think
he is perfectly good enough when it comes to endurance and dramatic
As for the orchestra and orchestration, the Metropolitain Opera
Orchestra players outdo themselves. In my opinion, they have rarely
played so beautifully, even if the strings are inaudible against the
brass on occasion (such as "Siegfrieds Rheinfart"). "Jimmy" Levine's
tempo is well paced, not very fast or slow, but is very intricate,
and never sluggish.
The sound quality of the recording well matches its other aspects.
Everything sounds to me as if it were straight out of a legend. As
long as you can ignore the slightly clumsy libretto and the fairly
high price, this is one of the finest Götterdämmerungs since that
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.