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Astrid Varnay sings Wagner
Richard Wagner
Astrid Varnay

Astrid Varnay sings Wagner

CD | Australian Eloquence | 0028948072835 | ELQ 4807283 | 10-13

About the album

Astrid Varnay (1918– 2006) was born in Sweden of Hungarian heritage and raised in America. She went on to become one of the most sought-after dramatic sopranos of the 20th century and one of the best-known Wagnerian heroic sopranos of her generation. Her voice was often praised for its seemingly limitless upper register. On this generously filled 2CD set (each disc clocks in at more than 80 minutes) we get extensive excerpts from Tristan und Isolde (with the reigning Heldentenor of the time, Wolfgang Windgassen) scenes from three of the Ring operas, and the Wesendonck Lieder. All were much praised when they first appeared on LP in the 1950s and then again as part of Deutsche Grammophon’s  ‘Original Masters’ tribute to this great singer.

‘On four incredibly busy, surely taxing, days in June 49 years ago, Astrid Varnay recorded an appreciable trance of her repertory, largely in the company of her husband Hermann Weigert as conductor. For the first time all these recordings are assembled in a single issue, along with others made later in the 1950s . . . Varnay enthusiasts will be delighted to have everything here.’ Gramophone

‘[On] DG's Astrid Varnay set of three CDs of her commercial Wagner recordings made in her prime (early 1950s) … the sound is as excellent as one would expect, so one can appreciate her voice in minute detail, relishing her every commanding interpretative decision.’ Opera Now 

‘These performances, recorded between 1955 and 1959, remind us no less strongly that she [Astrid Varnay] was one of the most remarkable Wagnerian singers of that time. [...] Varnay is best in the rapt, inner intensity of No. 3 [of the Wesendonck Lieder], “Im Treibhaus”. Such inner intensity is also abundant in the long extract from Act 2 of Tristan. [...] it is Varnay's grandly-phrased account of the closing scene from Götterdammerung that wins this disc the strongest recommendation.’ Gramophone

‘This has always been one of DGG's most impressive Wagner recordings with a sumptuousness of sound that was unrivalled before the arrival of stereo. Astrid Varnay has some swoopy moments, but generally she sings with a glowing beauty, and Windgassen at his finest shows that few Heldentenoren have approached him in recent years for beauty of tone and musicianship.’ Penguin Guide

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Tracklisting
    • 1
      Die Walkare
      [01] Siegmund! Siehâ?? auf mich!
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 2
      [02-04] Heil dir, Sonne! Heil dir, Licht!
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 3
      [02-04] Heil dir, Sonne! Heil dir, Licht!
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 4
      [02-04] Heil dir, Sonne! Heil dir, Licht!
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 5
      Die Gatterdammerung
      Zu neuen Taten, teurer Helde
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 6
      Die Gatterdammerung
      Starke Scheite schichtet mir dort
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 1
      Tristan und Isolde
      Weh, ach wehe! Dies zu dulden
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 2
      Tristan und Isolde
      Isolde! â?? Tristan! â?? Geliebte(r)!
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 3
      Tristan und Isolde
      Isolde! â?? Tristan! â?? Geliebte(r)!
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 4
      Tristan und Isolde
      Isolde! â?? Tristan! â?? Geliebte(r)!
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 5
      Tristan und Isolde
      Mild und leise wie er lachelt
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 6
      Tristan und Isolde
      Wesendonck Lieder
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 7
      Tristan und Isolde
      Wesendonck Lieder
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 8
      Tristan und Isolde
      Wesendonck Lieder
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 9
      Tristan und Isolde
      Wesendonck Lieder
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
    • 10
      Tristan und Isolde
      Wesendonck Lieder
       
      Composer: Wagner, Richard
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