Wagner: Die Walküre

Testament: SBT41495

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Wagner: Die Walküre



Catalogue No:




Release date:

30th June 2014




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Wagner: Die Walküre

Anita Välkki (Brünnhilde), Claire Watson (Sieglinde), Hans Hotter (Wotan), Jon Vickers (Siegmund), Michael Langdon (Hunding), Rita Gorr (Fricka), Marie Collier (Gerhilde), Judith Pierce (Helmwige), Margreta Elkins (Waltraute), Joan Edwards (Schwertleite), Julia Malyon (Ortlinde), Noreen Berry (Siegrune), Maureen Guy (Grimgerde), Josephine Veasey (Roßweiße)

The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Chorus & Orchestra, Georg Solti

CD - 4 discs


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This release marks the first appearance of Georg Solti on Testament as an opera conductor in an historic performance of Die Walküre at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in October 1961.

This is the first new production at the Royal Opera House conducted by Solti following his appointment as Musical Director of the Covent Garden Opera Company in 1961.

The outstanding cast includes Anita Välkki as Brünnhilde, Hans Hotter as Wotan, Claire Watson as Sieglinde, Jon Vickers as Siegmund, Rita Gorr as Fricka and Michael Langdon as Hunding.

The overall performance received high praise for its intensity and drive as well as Solti’s fine musicianship.

Solti obtains spectacularly fine playing from the Covent Garden Orchestra, described by the critics as ‘superb’, ‘magnificent’, ‘the finest since the war’ and ‘exciting beyond words’.

The production was meant to be the start of a complete Ring cycle directed by Hans Hotter and designed by Herbert Kern but Kern was replaced by Günther Schneider-Siemssen and the production revised, so this version stands alone and is not part of the eventual Ring cycle as completed in 1964.

Recorded live on 2 October 1961 after the premiere on 29 September.

Financial Times

16th August 2014


“This previously unpublished BBC recording, documenting Georg Solti’s first new production as Royal Opera music director, shows how he seized the company by the throat, investing the music with the intensity and drive that became his hallmark in Wagner (and much else).”

The Guardian

17th July 2014


“Though it shows how quickly orchestral standards at the Royal Opera House improved after his arrival – the playing is superb, secure and thrillingly crisp – the performance as a whole is uneven...On the plus side, though, are Jon Vickers' thrilling Siegmund...and Rita Gorr's fearsome Fricka.”

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