OP0043. DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, Live Performance, 1956, w. Knappertsbusch Cond. Bayreuth Ensemble; Hans Hotter, Herrmann Uhde, Wolfgang Windgassen, Josef Greindl, Gre Brouwenstijn, Astrid Varnay, etc. 13-Music & Arts 1009. Transfers by Maggi Payne. Superlative sound! Final Copy! - 017685400926
"As for Knappertsbusch, this RING may be his crowning achievement on disc....There is a sweep and grandeur to the whole, but that sweep is the result of carefully thought-through decisions over the 15-hour span of these scores. It is the result of balancing of textures, a rich palette of colors, and a sustained intensity of tone that the conductor calls forth from his players....this set is an extraordinarily important release....the sound is superb (accurately conveying the warmth of the Bayreuth acoustic, and its natural balance) - as good as many monaural studio recordings from the 1950s."
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE, March/April, 1998
"Varnay, gripping throughout, delivers Brünnhilde's Immolation Scene as if to sake her claim on immortality...."
- Matthew Gurwitsch, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 March, 2000
“Hermann Uhde’s American mother was a student of the famous baritone Karl Scheidemantel. He was trained as a bass, by Philipp Kraus at the Opera School in Bremen, where he made his début as Titurel (1936). After engagements in Freiburg and Munich he appeared for the first time in baritone rôles at the Deutsches Theater im Haag in 1942. A prisoner-of-war from April 1945 to February 1946, he did not return to the stage until 1947. He subsequently appeared at the opera houses of Hamburg, Vienna and Munich where he became a member of the ensemble. He gained great success in rôles such as Mandryka, Gunther and Telramund, in which he was particularly admired. The artist was regularly invited to the Bayreuth Festival from 1951 to 1960 where he became one of its most important members, appearing as Holländer, Klingsor, Gunther, Donner, Wotan in RHEINGOLD, Telramund and Melot. He was also a guest at the Salzburg Festival and performed a superb Wozzeck at the Met (sung in English!) where he regularly appeared from 1955 to 1961 and again in 1964. He sang at the Grand Opéra Paris as well as at other European opera houses. He created several rôles, including Creon in Orff’s ANTIGONAE, the baritone rôles in Britten’s THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA and Wagner-Régeny’s DAS BERGWERK ZU FALUN. He died of a heart attack during a performance of Niels Viggo Bentzon’s FAUST III, at Copenhagen in 1965.”
- Andrea Shum-Binder, subito-cantabile