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Wagner: Lohengrin / Kempe (Bayreuth, 1967)

Release Date: 11/03/2017 
Label:  Orfeo   Catalog #: 850113  
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Karl RidderbuschJames KingDieter SlembeckHeinz Feldhoff,   ... 
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival OrchestraBayreuth Festival Chorus
Number of Discs: 3 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

James King (1925-2005) stood in the 1960s on the cusp of his Bayreuth career, which had begun earlier with the role of Siegmund. Anyone who is familiar with the baritone origins of the tenor from Kansas, USA, may well be surprised at the tremendous dynamic grading in the suspended high registers through to the sonorous piano passages that he was capable of at his Bayreuth debut in the role of the Knight of the Swan. He kept that role in his repertoire for more than a quarter of a century, singing it right up to the end of his career at new venues. The Elsa at James King’s side in this case was Irish-born Heather Harper, who went on to become famous for her performances and premieres of works by Benjamin Britten. With her superlative, Read more highly-spun lyrical phrasing and many nuances her “foray” into the realms of Wagner is a pure listening pleasure. The last of the soloists at that performance were Thomas Tipton as an elegant King’s Herald; the reason for his reputation as the leading gentleman baritone of the Bavarian State Opera in those days is audible here; and the “outsider” so to speak, in the midst of these English-speaking singers who nevertheless sang in perfect German: Karl Ridderbusch with his truly balmy bass as King Heinrich. Read less

Works on This Recording

Lohengrin by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Karl Ridderbusch (Bass), James King (Tenor), Dieter Slembeck (Bass),
Heinz Feldhoff (Bass), Hermin Esser (Tenor), Horst Hoffmann (Tenor),
Donald McIntyre (Bass), Thomas Tipton (Baritone), Heather Harper (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Germany 

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