OP0622. GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Live Performance, 2 Sept., 1947, Buenos Aires, w.Kleiber Cond. Teatro Colón Ensemble; Astrid Varnay, Set Svanholm, Herbert Janssen, Emanuel List, Rose Bampton, Fred Destal, etc. (Germany) 3-Gebhardt 0046. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 4035122000467
“So many live recordings of Wagner's GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG have been issued that another hardly seems necessary. But this release demands attention in spite of the disfiguring cuts, imperfect orchestral playing, and sonic distortions of the original acetates. This 1947 Teatro Colón performance documents Astrid Varnay's first performance of a role she was to repeat over a hundred times on world stages in the next twenty-five years. It also catches Set Svanholm's Siegfried in fresh, assured voice. Above all, it enshrines Erich Kleiber's magisterial reading of Wagner's score.
Kleiber left few aural documents of his work in the opera house. This GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG joins the studio and live recordings of LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, FIDELIO, DER FREISCHÜTZ, TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, DER ROSENKAVALIER, and DAPHNE in his discography. As for this GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, if one can listen beyond the imperfect playing of the orchestra and ignore the occasional sonic distortions - for some, this is a big ‘if’ - one will discover a great conductor at work.
Kleiber leads a lithe, pliantly paced performance that catches both the lyricism and dramatic power of Wagner's heroic score. Intently urging his musicians on, the conductor never sacrifices the long musical line for superficial effects. Lyrical portions blossom radiantly, and the dramatic climaxes, shrewdly built, emerge with whiplike intensity. It is a grandly scaled yet sensitive reading: for example, the Norns deliver their pronouncements as though they were singing lieder, the chamberlike orchestral fabric allowing Lydia Kindermann, Zaira Negroni, and Rose Bampton to engage in intimate dialogue. The music flows naturally.”
- Robert Baxter, OPERA QUARTERLY, Winter, 2004