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Wagner: Die Walküre Act 2 / Melchior, Lehmann, Hotter, List


Release Date: 10/09/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics Références Catalog #: 64255   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Marta FuchsMargarete KloseHans HotterLauritz Melchior,   ... 
Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-WinklerBruno Walter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera OrchestraVienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This 78rpm set had a very mixed genesis. The scene for Sieglinde and Siegmund and the act's denouement were recorded in Vienna in 1935 with the same forces that had performed Act 1 so successfully (EMI CD CDH7 61020-2, 10/88), but the original plan, had the Nazis not intervened, was to record the whole opera in Berlin, with perhaps Leider as Brünnhilde and Schorr as Wotan. With Walter excluded from Berlin, operations were moved to Vienna with the incomparable Lehmann, who refused to sing in Berlin, and Melchior. They are as impressive in the scene where they are in headlong flight after the consummation of their illicit love as they were throughout Act 1. Lehmann's identification with Sieglinde's terror and inner torment have to this Read more day never quite been equalled. Then, what Siegmund since has comforted his beloved in such warm and sympathetic tones? In the moment before the fight with Hunding, Melchior's reading of the "Zauberfest" solo, sung in that covered tone of his, is peculiarly eloquent. Both singers again receive the tense, taut support of Walter at his very best.

Why no effort was made to complete the project until 1938 remains a mystery. JBS in his note suggests that Leider and Schorr, and his alternative Bockelmann, may have been thought past their best. At any rate, when operations resumed it was in Berlin with the State Opera Orchestra under Bruno Seidler-Winkler, the company's house accompanist in Germany over many years. He is a reliable rather than inspired conductor, missing Walter's intensity. But he is a worthy supporter of three splendid Wagner singers, two at the height of their career, one - Hotter (not yet 30)- at the start of his. Klose's Fricka is the mother and grandmother of all those splendid mezzos who have succeeded but not surpassed her in the role. She, like all the singers here, sings through and with the words. In even better voice than in the 1942 Lohengrin (Preiser-to be reviewed), she is in total command of the role as she mentally cows Wotan, listen to how she relishes such phrases as "Lugte lüstern der Blick".

As her Wotan, Hotter is already well inside a role he had yet to sing on stage (his debut in it came under Clemens Krauss in Munich in 1941), conveying all the god's anguish. Later, where the Narration is concerned, he does not, naturally enough, yet plumb the part's psychological depths as he was to do in the post-war era, most notably on disc in the 1953 Bayreuth performance under Krauss (Foyer, 6/88). He is also hampered by the severe cuts in the Narration which would be considered unforgivable today: in addition, there is an excision in the scene with Fricka. But the vocal strength of Hotter's performance is incontrovertible.

Fuchs, a severely underrated artist, is a superb Brünnhilde. I know of no other soprano who has such a smooth bel canto way with Wagner, the tone fresh, womanly and blessedly steady. And at the same time she penetrates entirely into the meaning of her role, without resorting to excessive vibrato or other exaggerations, but simply by the thought she has applied to the text, and then to its relationship to line and tone. Listen to that wonderful passage beginning "So wenig achtest du" in the Todesverkfindigung and you will surely agree. Melchior responds eagerly to such a warm partner. For the final scene, where we are back in Vienna, Ella Flesch sings Brünnhilde's few phrases securely, although without Fuchs's complete involvement, and Jerger is the Wotan, sounding quite different from Hotter!

To fit the act on to one disc, EMI have inflicted yet another indignity on the music, taking out vital bars in the transformation into the Todesverktindigung. Why not have given us two discs and added more Fuchs and Hotter from the archives? The transfer to CD is reasonable, but sounds as if the original material is here less tractable than was the case with Act I. It should also be noted that the Vienna Musikverein is more reverberant than the Berlin studio. EMI continue their cheeseparing by excluding texts and translations in this series. When is that policy to be reversed? It can not be too soon. For all these strictures this is a more than worthwhile issue, notable for its memorable singers.

-- Gramophone [5/1992]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Die Walküre: Act 2, Scene 1 by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Marta Fuchs (Soprano), Margarete Klose (Alto), Hans Hotter (Baritone)
Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1938 
Venue:  Berlin 
Length: 22 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Die Walküre: Act 2, Scene 2 by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Hans Hotter (Baritone), Marta Fuchs (Soprano)
Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1938 
Venue:  Berlin 
Length: 21 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Die Walküre: Act 2, Scene 3 by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor), Lotte Lehmann (Soprano)
Conductor:  Bruno Walter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/26/1935 
Venue:  Musikvereinssaal, Vienna 
Length: 9 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: German 
4.
Die Walküre: Act 2, Scene 4 by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Marta Fuchs (Soprano), Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1938 
Venue:  Berlin 
Length: 16 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Die Walküre: Act 2, Scene 5 by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Ella Flesch (Soprano), Alfred Jerger (Bass Baritone), Emanuel List (Bass),
Lauritz Melchior (Tenor), Lotte Lehmann (Soprano)
Conductor:  Bruno Walter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/26/1935 
Venue:  Musikvereinssaal, Vienna 
Length: 7 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: German 

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