I find this recording to be far better than the earlier reviewer wrote. Sound wise, it's in solid mono with the singers up close and personal. Surprisingly good for it's 1947 live origin--clearly an in-house source. Singers are all excellent with Solti at his typically muscular best. The orchestra is not first rate with the brass most exposed for some tepid entries and occasional sour notes--otherwise an enjoyable listening experience, recommended for the historically motivated listeners. BTW, this is only Act One of the performance, a fact not clearly indicated on the packaging or the Amazon listing.
Here we are in Munich, 1947. The town is in pieces, morale is low, and people can only find solace in cultural events and entertainment. That evening of May 7, a Jewish, Hungarian-born 35-year old conductor with little experience conducts Die Walkure at the Prinzregententheater in Munich. In his cast, two "official" Third Reich singers, Franz Voelker and Friedrich Dalberg. Dalberg was a pillar of Bayreuth during WWII, he can be heard in the Abendroth Meistersinger of 1943 and, more convincingly, as an extraordinary Hagen in Elmendorff's Goetterdammerung in 1942. As for Voelker, he can be found in numerous extracts from Bayreuth in the 1930s as well as in a Berlin Lohengrin from 1942.
The situation that night in Munich would therefore be quite ironic were it not for the tragic circumstances. I thought it was important to put the context of this recording into perspective. Now back to the music.
One will want to hear this CD for the strong performance of Marianne...
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