Wagner: Arias / Kirsten Flagstad, soprano with Lauritz Melchoir and Gordon Dillworth

Audio Samples

>Wagner, Richard : Tristan und Isolde
>     Act 3. Mild und leise (Liebestod)
>Wagner, Richard : Lohengrin
>     Act 2
>Wagner, Richard : Parsifal
>     Act 2. Ich sah' das Kind
>Wagner, Richard : Die Walküre
>     Act 1. Du bist der Lenz
>     Act 2. Ho-jo-to-ho!
>Wagner, Richard : Götterdämmerung
>     Prologue. Zu neuen Taten
>     Act 3. Starke Scheite schichtet mir dort

Album Summary

>Wagner, Richard : Tristan und Isolde
>Wagner, Richard : Lohengrin
>Wagner, Richard : Parsifal
>Wagner, Richard : Die Walküre
>Wagner, Richard : Götterdämmerung
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

These recordings were made when the great Norwegian soprano was in her vocal prime, between 1935 and 1940. Although her voice remained astonishingly well preserved till late in her career, later recordings of the same music are no less resplendent but perhaps lack the last degree of dramatic tension she could bring when regularly singing these roles on stage. Included is the Act 2 duet from Parsifal, which became a calling-card not only for her but for her partner in this recording, and times without number on stage, Lauritz Melchior. Desmond Shawe-Taylor remarked in the New Grove Dictionary of Opera that 'No one within living memory surpassed her in sheer beauty and consistency of line and tone'. She quickly became a legend in Norway, where her portrait adorned both the 100 Kroner note and the tail of Norwegian Air Shuttle planes, but her fame spread throughout the musical world (she is one of the few opera singers to have her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame). Rudolf Bing called her 'the greatest soprano of the century', and many would agree. + 'For sheer vocal opulence in Wagner, these tracks would be hard to equal. Her 'Ho-jo-toho!' in 1935 announced on the gramophone her arrival as a Wagnerian prima donna and the splendour of the singing is unsurpassed.' Gramophone, October 1990

America Record Guide
Kirsten Flagstad and Melchior are in a class by themselves. They manage all the difficulties, and there are lots of them. In G÷tterdSmmerung at Siegfried's departure, Flagstad easily hits the high A at the final 'Heil' at the end of her vocal line - on pitch and like a ton of bricks in force. Nilsson could come close, but nobody around at present can even approximate her intensity or perfect intonation. Her vibrato is not excessive and is well controlled. She was phenomenal... and the San Francisco orchestra is quite good.

[Ormandy's] great orchestra plays it splendidly. Both Flagstad and Melchior are in top form and the result is a truly superior performance...



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Works Details

>Wagner, Richard : Tristan und Isolde :: Act 3. Mild und leise (Liebestod)
  • Performer: Kirsten Flagstad
  • Conductor: Edwin McArthur
  • Ensemble: San Francisco Opera Orchestra
  • Running Time: 7 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1857-1859

>Wagner, Richard : Lohengrin :: Act 2
  • Performer: Kirsten Flagstad
  • Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
  • Ensemble: Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1848

>Wagner, Richard : Parsifal :: Act 2. Ich sah' das Kind
  • Performers: Kirsten Flagstad; Gordon Dilworth (Baritone); Lauritz Melchior
  • Conductor: Edwin McArthur
  • Ensemble: Victor Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 33 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1878-1882

>Wagner, Richard : Die Walküre :: Act 1. Du bist der Lenz
  • Performer: Kirsten Flagstad
  • Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
  • Running Time: 2 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1854-1856

>Wagner, Richard : Die Walküre :: Act 2. Ho-jo-to-ho!
  • Performer: Kirsten Flagstad
  • Conductor: Hans Lange
  • Running Time: 2 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1854-1856

>Wagner, Richard : Götterdämmerung :: Prologue. Zu neuen Taten
  • Performers: Kirsten Flagstad; Lauritz Melchior
  • Conductor: Edwin McArthur
  • Running Time: 8 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1869-1874

>Wagner, Richard : Götterdämmerung :: Act 3. Starke Scheite schichtet mir dort
  • Performers: Kirsten Flagstad; Lauritz Melchior
  • Conductor: Edwin McArthur
  • Running Time: 16 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1869-1874