Walkure  (Konwitschny;  Hotter, Shuard, Varnay, Vinay, Bohme)  (3-Walhall 0316)
Item# OP2060
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Product Description

Walkure  (Konwitschny;  Hotter, Shuard, Varnay, Vinay, Bohme)  (3-Walhall 0316)
OP2060. DIE WALKURE, Live Performance, 23 Sept., 1959, w.Konwitschny Cond. Royal Opera House Ensemble; Hans Hotter, Amy Shuard, Astrid Varnay, Ram�n Vinay, Kurt Bohme, etc. (E.U.) 3-Walhall 0316. - 4035122653168

CRITIC REVIEWS:

"Franz Konwitschny (1901-62) was a large and rotund fellow, a fine musician who is less known internationally than he should have been, mostly because he rarely ventured outside the communist controlled east European countries. He was for many years director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and his recordings with them include a fine stereo set of the Beethoven symphonies. Actually, he was a powerful Beethoven conductor, and his Eroica with the Staatskapelle Dresden is surely among the best of the 20th Century. He was a fine opera conductor also, and made excellent recordings of Wagner's FLYING DUTCHMAN, TANNHÄUSER and TRISTAN."

- John P. McKelvey, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, May/June, 2012





"Almost forgotten a generation after his death, Franz Konwitschny, director of both the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig and the Berlin State Opera from 1949 until his death in 1962, was much the finest and by far the most successful East German conductor of his time. Konwitschny didn't seek to match the glamour of Herbert von Karajan, his West German opposite; he was interested in something else entirely. Born in 1901 at the height of German romantic idealism, Konwitschny came of age in the milieu of post-War modernism, and in his maturity the one influence tempered the other so that the classic Konwitschny performances were clean and lucid but enormously concentrated and unbearably intense. For latter-day [listeners] who know best Karajan's more charismatic recordings, Konwitschny's will clear the mind, cleanse the palette and sooth the spirit."

- James Leonard, allmusic.com





"The dramatic soprano Astrid Varnay was born into an operatic family: her mother was a coloratura soprano and her father a spinto tenor. The year in which she was born they founded the Opera Comique Theatre in Kristiania, Sweden, although they were both born in Hungary, and they managed it until 1921. The family then moved to Argentina and later to New York, where her father died in 1924. Her mother subsequently remarried another tenor, and the young Astrid, after studying to be a pianist, decided at the age of eighteen to become a singer. She worked intensively, first with her mother and then with the Metropolitan Opera conductor and coach Hermann Weigert, whom she later married. She made her sensational stage dbut at the Metropolitan in 1941, substituting at short notice for Lotte Lehmann as Sieglinde in DIE WALKRE with no rehearsal. After this triumph, six days later she replaced Helen Traubel in the same opera as Brnnhilde, and her operatic career was effectively launched. She made her Covent Garden dbut in 1948 and, at the suggestion of Kirsten Flagstad, her Bayreuth Festival dbut in 1951. She sang every year at Bayreuth for the next seventeen years and at the Met until 1956, when she left following a disagreement with Rudolf Bing. She henceforth concentrated her career on Germany where she was revered, living in Munich. She moved from the dramatic soprano repertoire into that for mezzo-soprano in 1969, and during the 1980s into character parts. She made her last appearance in Munich in 1995, almost fifty-five years after her Metropolitan dbut. Her brilliant career is well documented in both commercial and unofficial sound recordings."

- David Patmore



Chilean tenor Ramn Vinay began his career as a baritone, later reworking his voice to the tenor range. For a decade or so, Vinay was a force to be reckoned with, a wonderful singing actor who excelled in such roles as Don Jos, Samson, Canio, and Otello. In the mid-late 1950s, the top notes became ever more precarious for Vinay, and he eventually returned to the baritone repertoire, and even some bass roles. Though Vinay was born in Chile, his father was French, and he studied in France. Its not surprising then, that Vinays French pronunciation and grasp of the Gallic opera style are expert. And what sets Vinays Jos apart from other great exponents of [French repertoire], even legendary French artists, is the Chilean tenors arresting combination of a rich, vibrant, baritonal middle register with ringing high notes. It is true that, like many tenors who began as baritones, Vinay has some difficulty in scaling back his voice, particularly in the upper register.

- Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, March / April, 2018