WAGNER Der Ring des Nibelungen / Solti 4555552
Decca's new venture was to galvanise classical recording, and begin a new era . . . [an] awesome performance . . . magnificent playing of the Vienna Philharmonic . . . there's no doubt about Solti's dynamism and towering sense of scale. He illuminates Wagner's imagery, especially the "Ring's" crucial natural forces, with vivid power . . . No less outstanding, of course, is his cast, still unrivalled -- an amazing Wagner ensemble . . . Nilsson's Brünnhilde is steely and untiring yet full of passionate femininity. Her father Wotan, sturdily sung by George London in "Rheingold", matures in "Siegfried" and "Walküre" into Hans Hotter's tormented, world-weary divinity -- probably the finest and most nuanced on any recording . . . Gustav Neidlinger's Alberich and Gottlob Frick's soot-voiced Hagen remain benchmarks, unmatched for Satanic nobility, as do Christa Ludwig's Fricka and Waltraute . . . [Gerhard Stolze]: the force of his performance is undeniable. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's unusually heroic Gunther and Joan Sutherland's striking . . . Woodbird add extra star quality . . . The sound has survived half a century well . . . even Solti's detractors have to admit the awesome stature of "Götterdämmerung", in which performance and recording unite with seamless strength to evoke the power of cosmic, cathartic tragedy. It hasn't been surpassed; it may never be.
. . . expressiv-zugespitztes Musizieren unter dem Hochspannungs-Maestro Solti . . . Herausragend die "Rheingold"-Fricka von Christa Ludwig, aber auch die Silber-Trompeten-Brünnhilde von Birgit Nilsson, der finstere Hunding von Gottlob Frick, der bedrohliche Alberich von Gustav Neidlinger, der in seiner Ich-Schwäche fein gezeichnete Gunther von Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau -- und die famosen Ensembles der acht Walküren . . .