Wagner - Lohengrin (1963)
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Label: Orfeo - Orfeo d'Or
Cat No: C900153
Number of Discs: 3
Release Date: 13th November 2015
Hans Günter Nocker
Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
Another first on this recording is the singing of Hans Hopf in the title role, for no recording of him as Lohengrin had surfaced up to now. He is partnered by the highly dramatic duo of Astrid Varnay – who seemed predestined for the role of Ortrud – and the great Wagner soprano Ingrid Bjoner as Elsa, who was 35 at the time of this recording. This is Bjoner’s only complete, extant Wagner recording from Munich, even though she was for many years a member of the Munich ensemble (and was so well-versed that she was even able to jump in to take on the role of Isolde in Bayreuth in 1986). Alongside Kurt Böhme as King Heinrich, the quality of the ensemble is further proven by the luxury casting of Josef Metternich in the role of the Heerrufer. This recording is not taken from a radio broadcast, but was found in the archives of the then deputy Intendant of the Bavarian State Opera, Herbert List, and it has been prepared carefully using all the technological means at our disposal today.
This edition is further enriched not least by a stimulating text about the Munich music scene of the day. Even the then Telramund, Hans Günter Nöcker, was contacted for information. The opera world of that time is brought vividly to life both in its musical achievement and in the manner in which the production elicited wildly divergent opinions from the then authoritative critics.
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