[Met Performance] CID:138050
Die Walküre {338} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/2/1944., Broadcast

(Debuts: Beal Hober, Jeanne Palmer
Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 2, 1944 Matinee Broadcast


DIE WALKÜRE {338}
Wagner--Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Helen Traubel
Siegmund................Lauritz Melchior
Sieglinde...............Rose Bampton
Wotan...................Herbert Janssen
Fricka..................Kerstin Thorborg
Hunding.................Alexander Kipnis
Gerhilde................Thelma Votipka
Grimgerde...............Martha Lipton
Helmwige................Beal Hober [Debut]
Ortlinde................Irene Jessner
Rossweisse..............Lucielle Browning
Schwertleite............Margaret Harshaw
Siegrune................Hertha Glaz
Waltraute...............Jeanne Palmer [Debut]

Conductor...............George Szell

Director................Lothar Wallerstein
Set designer............Jonel Jorgulesco

Die Walküre received seven performances this season.

[Traubel's costume was designed by Adrian.]


Available for streaming at Met Opera on Demand
Rebroadcast on Sirius Metropolitan Opera Radio


Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the Herald Tribune

Szell Conducts "Die Walküre" at Metropolitan

Melchior Sings Lead Role in First Performance of Music Drama in Season

The first performance of the season of Wagner's "Die Walküre" at the Metropolitan Opera House Saturday afternoon was in many ways an impressive one, much of the eloquence stemming from the superb discourse of the orchestral score by the greatly improved orchestra under Mr. Szell's profoundly perceptive direction. The conductor set himself a high standard from the very beginning of the presentation in a rare and stirring unfolding of the prelude, with its vivid depiction of a storm, and the listener's attention was held unflaggingly throughout Mr. Szell's intensely dramatic and poetic interpretation of Wagner's moving music drama.

Much of the singing, too, was at a high order, the best balanced impersonation being that of Mr. Janssen, whose Wotan was not only voiced with unfailing tonal sumptuousness and full realization of the many-faceted musical aspects of the role, but was distinguished dramatically as well.

Miss Traubel's vocal work, too, was of a high order, once her "Ho-yo-to-ho" (transposed into a lower key and still evidently not a too comfortable assignment for the soprano) was out of the way. Thereafter, she sang with firm, gleaming tones, often especially in her plea to Wotan in the third act, achieving truly thrilling interpretive moments.

Less satisfying was the Sieglinde of Miss Bampton. The quieter, more intimately poetic portions of her music she sang agreeably, often imbuing them with affecting tenderness. But in the ecstatic outbursts of the first and third acts and in the expression of hysterical fear in the second act, her spread manner of vocal production resulted in poorly focused, lusterless sounds.

The Fricka of Miss Thorborg had all of its customary authority of gesture and pose, but the contralto's powerful voice emerged with an unyieldingly steely hardness which divested the music of its inherent nobility and made it sound like the utterances of a thwarted shrew.

Mr. Melchior sang Siegmund's music in the first act with exceptional freedom and brilliancy, but in the second act his tones sounded constricted and sometimes clouded. As Hunding, Mr. Kipnis sang with the necessary weighty, baleful expressiveness and acted the part of Sieglinde's spouse with telling realization of the character's disagreeable attributes. The singing of the eight Valkyries was on the whole most effective.


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