Live recording in mono
Conductor: Rudolf Moralt
Siegmund Günther Treptow
Sieglinde Hilde Konetzni
Wotan Ferdinand Frantz
Brünnhilde Helena Braun
Hunding Herbert Alsen
Fricka Rosette Anday
Gerhilde Judith Hellwig
Ortlinde Ester Rethy
Waltraute Rosette Anday
Schwertleite Alice Ostrowsky
Helmwige Ilona Steingruber
Siegrune Gertrude Burgstaller-Schuster
Grimgerde Dagmar Hermann
Roßweiße Else Schürhoff
Wiener Symphoniker
MYTO, MCD 971.152 3 CDs ADD
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Review by Henrik Boman

This is the first complete Ring recorded after the WWII, an excellent cast still under, what I would like to call, the older Wagner tradition: you can hear every single word of the text. The recording as something of a historical document, using the greatest voices of its time, and a conductor of the old school, in a town just a few years after the disastrous war. Rudolf Moralt was since 1940 contracted at the Wiener Staatsoper, during the Nazi regime, so the performance is a historical document of an era (luckily) past and gone.

For me this is a different Walküre, because of the old tradition still heard in the performance, and the remarkable conducting of Rudolf Moralt. A quite slow tempi, with an intensity in a 'Solti like way', marking the specific passages in the music, not the flow between the scenes. Moralt lacks the sensitive touch of the slower moments of the opera, the ones which his contemporary colleague Furtwängler mastered with such precision.

The strings of the Wiener Symphoniker make a good impression, a firm basis for the singers, but the woodwind and the horns make a somewhat insecure impression at occasions.

It's a concert performance and the dramatic heaviness of a live performance on stage is missing. Siegmund and Sieglinde are singing to you, as a listener, not to each other. Treptow making a significant performance, he is not the lonely 'waffen lose' hero, he is a loving, strong Siegmund, looking for his love of the life. He is the 'heroic', non-suffering, Siegmund.

Konetzni in her main role, also performed under Furtwängler, is a strong and loving woman, not the depressed and suffering wife of Hunding. Herbert Alsen as Hunding is probably one of the darkest Hundings recorded, a remarkable contrast to Siegmund. Helena Braun as Brünnhilde, a darker voice than usual today, as both Varnay and Mödl. She's not THE 'Brünnhilde' but she appeared repeatedly as Brünnhilde or Kundry under Moralt and Knappertsbuch in the 1940s. Fricka of the performance, Rosette Anday, is loud and demanding wife of Wotan, reminding him of his duties as the Chief God when he wants to forget them, and only help, and love, Siegmund.

The sound quality in Act I and II are remarkable good, if not to say excellent, but in the third act the quality is poorer. Sadly enough couldn't the modern technology repair the damages done to the original tapes. The balance between singers and orchestra is not exemplary, it puts the orchestral work in the background.

The opera was recorded one act a night, as later Furtwängler did in his Tristan und Isolde and the RAI Ring, an idea Furtwängler got from Moralt's performance. During the performance, Furtwängler sitting in the audience, discovered his future Siegmund for the La Scala Ring of 1950, Günther Treptow. Rushing out after the end of the first act, he asked his assistant why he hadn't been informed about this tenor.

The Sieglinde of this performance, Hilde Konetzni, was also engaged by Furtwängler for the La Scala Ring, together with Ferdinand Frantz. I wouldn't recommend this Walküre to anyone who's not a Wagner enthusiast. But if you are, it is an interesting and historical performance with some of the best Wagner singers of its time.