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



"Of all the singers of the 20th century, the man whose voice and presence were most capable of conveying the essence of the archetypal father was bass-baritone Hans Hotter. Blessed with a huge, resonant instrument that could be scaled down to an intimate whisper, the man could sound invincible one minute and vulnerable the next. No matter what he sang, Hotter communicated a profundity and depth of spirit that seemed rooted in a primordial place of holiness and sagacity. If you can imagine a man whose voice could convincingly express the power of a God, the wisdom of a sage, and the humanity of an open-hearted mortal, you can begin to hear the sound of Hans Hotter in your head.

In the world of opera, Richard Wagner's Wotan, the God of Valhalla, is perhaps the greatest Daddy of them all. In DIE WALKRE, he has no choice but to punish his favorite daughter Brnnhilde for her sin of intervening in the affairs of mortals. But even as he puts his beloved daughter to sleep, protecting her with a ring of fire, he makes sure that love can dowse the flames and return her to life. It was the Wotan of Hans Hotter, more than of any other recorded singer, that most fully expressed the tortured godliness of this strangely mortal immortal.

At the same time as Hotter dominated the opera stage as Wotan, he became known as a supreme interpreter of German art song. With his voice pared down as necessary, Hotter's lieder interpretations evinced the same strength and surety that thundered through him when he strode across the stage carrying sword and shield."

- Jason Serinus



"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





"The most famous Chilean opera singer was Ramn Vinay (191196), who began as a tenor and later became a baritone. He had an important international career, most famously as Otello on the brilliant recording led by Toscanini, who said, 'He is a complete artist, magnificent and unsurpassed in roles which require power and violence. At present time no other artist comes near Vinays interpretation of Otello'. Vinay sang some 170 performances at the Met in heroic roles in French, Italian and German, was a famous Tristan at Bayreuth, and sang Tannhuser and roles in the Ring Cycle."

- Santiago Rodrguez, Teatro Municipal