Wagner: Götterdämmerung (4CD)
As the first commercial recording of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung this set would have lasting significance even without the presence of its undoubted star, the Norwegian soprano, Kirsten Flagstad, in her signature role of Brünnhilde. In fact Flagstad had retired from the operatic stage in 1953, just shy of her 58th birthday with her voice still largely intact when she was persuaded to return to the heroine of the ‘Ring’ one final time and in propitious circumstances: live performances of an act at a time, generously spaced by a few days at a time, working with a fellow-Norwegian conductor she knew well and a partner in the role of Siegfried who had developed a musical understanding with her over the course of decades.
The concerts in January 1956 were recorded by Norwegian Radio; on becoming aware of them, Decca producer John Culshaw fully appreciated their significance and arranged for an additional recording session to cover almost all the sections of the score that had been omitted in the live performances.
Siegfried: Set Svanholm
Gunther: Waldemar Johnsen
Alberich: Per Grönneberg
Hagen: Egil Nordsjø
Brünnhilde: Kirsten Flagstad
Gutrune · Third Norn: Ingrid Bjoner
Waltraute · First Norn: Eva Gustavson
Woglinde: Unni Bugge-Hanssen
Wellgunde · Second Norn: Karen Marie Flagstad
Flosshilde: Beate Asserson
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Norwegian State Radio Orchestra
FIRST CD RELEASE ON DECCA. REMASTERED FROM THE ORIGINAL TAPES.