Sunday, 6 November 2011

Gotterdammerung Buenos Aires 1948


Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires 3 September 1948

Conductor Erich Kleiber

Brünnhilde - Kirsten Flagstad

Siegfried - Set Svanholm

Hagen - Ludwig Weber

Waltraute - Lydia Kinderman

Woglinde - Mafalda Rinaldi

Wellgunde - María Cherry

Floßhilde - Zaira Negroni

This can best be described as 'bleeding chunks' of Gotterdammerung. About an hour of this performance has been preserved, but the recording is patchy. We have extracts of the Dawn Duet, but often Svanholm is cut out; parts of the end of act 1; only three minutes of the vassal scene in act 2; parts of the opening of act 3; parts of Siegfried's death; but a complete immolation scene. Clearly whoever recorded it concentrated on Kirsten Flagstad who was gradually reappearing on the international stage after spending WWII in German-occupied Norway. Still unwelcome in America, in 1948 Flagstad appeared in some major European houses including Covent Garden, as well as singing both Brunnhilde and Tristan in Buenos Aires. This recording is important as it documents her first live immolation recording since the 1937 Covent Garden performances under Furtwangler. A few months before this trip she had recorded it for EMI of course, and that is widely available. In 1950 her complete ring would be recorded at La Scala under Furtwangler.

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