Notes and Editorial Reviews
...Siegfried is an opera of nine dialogues, three in each Act, for the various pairs of characters, with a female voice—except for the bird—bringing tonal relief only in the final scene of the opera... This brings me to the cast, which, with a few reservations, is absolutely first-rate.
...Wagner asked for a "harsh and husky" voice [for the role of Mime], an impossible demand. [Gerhard] Stolze's tone is certainly far from beautiful but not harsh or husky and it does convey the revolting malice of the evil dwarf more convincingly than I ever remember hearing in the opera house. I am glad to say that Stolze now sings all the notes in his part including the tittering laughs on the high notes indicated by Wagner; and
his rhythmic precision is as notable as before. Karajan was well advised to cast him in the part and like a true artist he has clearly re-thought and subtilized his performance of it.
Thomas Stewart, as in DGG's Walküre, is again an impressive Wotan and uses his splendid voice to great effect. There are moments that show he has closely studied Hotter's assumption of the part, notably in the last words Wotan utters to Siegfried before he disappears, "in complete darkness", out of the Ring: "Zieh' hin! Ich kann nicht hatten". The intonations here are exactly those of Hotter. The Wotan of Siegfried is an old and weary god, who has lost his power to command, who is willing to let events take their course and is glad to opt out. Stewart's young and resonant voice cannot convey this as Hotter did but he shows himself dignified, often sensitive, and is, I am sure, on the way to becoming a great exponent of this part...
...I liked Jess Thomas's virile Siegfried immensely. He lacks the sensitivity Windgassen brought to the part in such scenes as the "Forest Murmurs" but he has all the weight of tone the more mature but elderly artist was not able to give to the "Forging Song", and is excellent in his utter contempt for Mime.
-- Gramophone [11/1969]
Works on This Recording
Siegfried by Richard Wagner
Oralia Dominguez (Mezzo Soprano),
Karl Ridderbusch (Baritone),
Zoltan Kélémén (Bass Baritone),
Thomas Stewart (Baritone),
Gerhard Stolze (Tenor),
Helga Dernesch (Soprano),
Jess Thomas (Tenor),
Catherine Gayer (Soprano)
Herbert von Karajan
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1871; Germany
Date of Recording: 1968
Venue: Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin
Length: 240 Minutes 17 Secs.
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