This was the last time Furtwängler conducted. He died soon after the recording sessions. It is a wonderfully recorded Walküre. As a studio recording, It doesn’t have the electricity one gets in, for example, the La Scala Walküre, but the orchestral playing and sound is better, and there is the wonderful singing of Suthaus. He was a magnificent heldentenor who understood exceptionally well Wagner’s alliterative writing style and made the most of it. Just listen ti his first act monologue to hear how he emphasizes the consonant sounds, which are a parallel form of leitmotifs. Frantz was a favorite of Furtwängler, and for good reasons. He was able to combine a highly expressive delivery while maintaining a godlike “view from above”. Also, this recording has the exceptional playing of the Vienna Philharmonic. Altogether it is a pleasure to hear, although the La Scala Walkúre is more exciting.
|Wagner Die Walküre|
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Martha Mödl, Leonie Rysanek, Margarete Klose, Ludwig Suthaus, Ferdinand Frantz, Gottlob Frick
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - 1954