Sunday, April 01, 2007

Windgassen singt

Deutsche Grammophon has apparently rereleased Wolfgang Windgassen Singt Wagner. This has the singer doing more or less a recital of some major Wagner Heldentenor bits. From the looks of things, this was a collection of recordings from the 1950s (though some expert should correct me, if I am wrong, and I'll fix it here). It is splendid to have Windgassen doing some "big numbers" in fine voice and on a good recording.

Frankly, I'd really rather have a reissued Windgassen disc than a thousand Domingo and Heppner sets. They're both fine tenors, but hearing Windgassen do "Nur eine Waffe taugt" should show the listener that neither of them have anything on a golden age Wagnerian. There is an intelligence and drama that theater-trained Wagnerians from that period (and the one preceding it) have that no-one has today. Those singers couldn't retreat into the studio to do works that they couldn't handle on stage (though Domingo has done Parsifal in Vienna); they had go out there and face an audience musically literate and passionate about music. Do a bad job, and the recent tantrums thrown by singers over the audience would look mild.

Windgassen is a known quantity, but that disc should get a spin from interested parties just to hear what a mighty Wagnerian with talent sounds like.


At 8:19 PM, Blogger Lisa Hirsch said...

Are you suggesting that Domingo's Parsifal is a one-shot wonder as far as singing the role, live? The Metropolitan Opera's handy archive tells me Domingo sang Parsifal there in 1991, 1995, 2001, and 2003.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Terry said...

I think the statement would work better if you were referencing Domingo's Tristan, than his Parsifal.

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Smith said...

Domingo did Parsifal on stage (and on disc once before for Levine, I think), but did Tristan in the studio. In a roundabout way, I was defending poor Placido. Or, at least excepting him.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Terry said...

I found this on bittorrent...hopefully it dls.

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