Barbirolli conducts Mozart and Wagner | Testament SBT1508

Barbirolli conducts Mozart and Wagner

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Label: Testament

Cat No: SBT1508

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 18th September 2015

Contents

Works

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Symphony no.40 in G minor, K550

Wagner, Richard

Gotterdammerung
» Brunnhilde's Immolation
» Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey
» Siegfried's Funeral March (Act 3)

Artists

Anita Valkki (soprano)
Halle Orchestra

Conductor

Sir John Barbirolli

Works

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Symphony no.40 in G minor, K550

Wagner, Richard

Gotterdammerung
» Brunnhilde's Immolation
» Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey
» Siegfried's Funeral March (Act 3)

Artists

Anita Valkki (soprano)
Halle Orchestra

Conductor

Sir John Barbirolli

About

For the 1964 concerts in Manchester one version of the programme included music from Tristan, Der fliegende Holländer and the Siegfried Idyll, the other (a BBC pre-recording in Manchester Town Hall on 21 January) Mozart’s G minor symphony. They were both delayed commemorations of the 150th anniversary of Wagner’s birth. According to Frances Graham in the Manchester Daily Express, ‘”There were not enough top-flight Wagnerian sopranos to go round”, Sir John Barbirolli explained last night. “We decided to wait until January 1964 – the middle of our 1964 season – for our celebration. We also wanted to wait for Finnish soprano Anita Waelkki”. It was a worthwhile wait. Miss Välkki’s singing must have come as a revelation to even the most experienced Wagnerian. It was a stupendous performance’.

In the Manchester edition of The Guardian J.H. Elliot noted that ‘The race of Wagnerian sopranos is not yet extinct. In the great tradition is last night’s soloist, the Finnish Anita Välkki. She was magnificent. The Wagner singer must somehow emerge undaunted and greater than life-size through a vast symphonic orchestral texture that is a unity in itself. This Miss Välkki triumphantly did, with singing as beautiful as it was meaningful, and with incredible hints of power in reserve. This was an evening to warm the hearts of Wagnerites, especially older ones with long memories of past splendours’. Michael Kennedy in the Manchester Daily Telegraph wrote of ‘thoroughly musical, impassioned and noble singing which emphasized the beauty of Wagner’s vocal writing and the translucent quality of the whole amazing tapestry of
sound… the orchestral playing had tremendous power and sonority, thrilling grandeur and also brought out the delicacy of much of the scoring. Sir John was in his operatic element, securing superbly balanced performances, considerate to his soloist, but most of all to Wagner’.

From the booklet note by Mike Ashman, © 2015

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