OP0167. GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Live Performance, 21 July, 1942, w. Elmendorff Cond. Bayreuth Festival Ensemble; Set Svanholm, Friedrich Dalberg, Egmont Koch, Marta Fuchs, Else Fischer, Camilla Kallab, Hildegard Jachnow, Hilde Scheppan, Irmgard Langhammer, Margary Booth, etc. 4-Music & Arts 1058. [Obviously recorded from the apron of the Bayreuth stage, every aspirate is heard in this overwhelmingly exciting performance; Elmendorff's conducting is a marvel, the shimmering Bayreuth strings are a marvel to behold!] Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 017685105821
"[Elmendorff] was an excellent Wagner conductor. His leadership in this performance reflects long experience in keeping up[ the forward momentum, while relaxing tempos for dramatic emphasis in the climaxes. He is adept at shaping Wagnerian phrases and flexible in responding to the demands of his singers….The singing cast is not loaded with superstars, but it is uniformly good with no conspicuous weakness….[Fuchs] gives one of the finest accounts of this music I’ve ever heard. Svanholm is his usual steady and dependable self – perhaps the best Siegfried available at the time. Dalberg is a solidly reliable Hagen. The rest of the cast is up to Bayreuth standards.”
- John P. McKelvey, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, July/Aug., 2000
"Most valuable of all, partly because of the excellence of the sound and the favorable Bayreuth acoustic, is a sizeable chunk of the third act of GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG recorded at the 1942 Festival under the determined baton of Karl Elmendorff....By this stage in the [Ring] cycle, most Siegfrieds sound tired, so the unostentatious ease of Svanholm's delivery, with his youthfully heroic timbre consistently centered, is remarkable. The Hagen - solid, dark tone, intelligent enunciation - is the English-born, South African bass Frederick Dalberg, whose studies and earlier career were in Germany, but who subsequently joined the Covent Garden Opera and in 1951 created the role of Claggart in Britten's BILLY BUDD."
- George Hall, INTERNATIONAL OPERA COLLECTOR, Spring, 1998
“Previously issued on Preiser, Music & Arts issues this 1942 GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG in comparable sound, but at less cost to the consumer (four discs for the price of three). In place of Preiser’s German-only annotations, we have Alan Blyth’s fair and frank assessment of this live broadcast’s vocal strengths and weaknesses. Wagner mavens surely will appreciate Friedrich Dalberg’s imposing and rich-toned Hagen, partnered by Egmont Koch as a rewarding Gunther. Apparently mezzo-soprano Camilla Kallab made no recordings. That’s a shame, for her Waltraute simply dominates the stage during the Act One Narrative. Set Svanholm’s only Bayreuth Siegfried is preserved here. Although his voice is a bit dry, his easy command of registral shifts and solid musicianship unfailingly project through the strident sonics. Martha Fuchs is an intelligent but vocally taxed Brünnhilde, whose leathery Immolation Scene is worth it primarily for Karl Elmendorff’s bedrock conducting. His perfect tempo choices and insidious transitions beckon one’s attention, and the orchestral playing improves as the opera progresses. All in all, Wagnerians with a historic bent will certainly want to hear this flawed but absorbing performance.”
- Jed Distler, ClassicaToday.com