Notes & Reviews:
7 December 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Kirsten Flagstad. Born in Hamr, Norway, on 12 July 1895 Flagstad made her debut in Oslo in 1912 in D'Albert's Tiefland.
Flagstad's first appearance at Bayreuth in 1930; Flagstad first established her as one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos of the 20th century. Her New York debut was as Sieglinde (Die Walkure) on 2 February 1935; Flagstad first appeared at Covent Garden on 18 May 1936 as Isolde. The world premiere of Richard Strauss' Vier Letzte Lieder was given in London by Flagstad. Although Flagstad is most widely known for her Wagnerian roles she also recorded Pucell's Dido and Aeneas and Gluck's Alceste for Decca, and it was in 1958 that she was persuaded to participate in the now legendary recording of Der ring des Nibelungen under Solti when she sang the role of Fricka in Das Rheingold.
Flagstad was also much-admired as an interpreter of Lieder; this new edition brings together Flagstad's complete Decca recitals made in the 1950s in a wide range of repertory that includes Brahms and Schubert, in addition to Grieg and Sibelius songs. She can be heard in several Wagner excerpts as well as the Wesendonk-Lieder.
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