Hallé/Elder(HLD) (4 CDs)
With a fine cast led by that pearl among current Brünnhildes, Susan Bullock, and conducted by Mark Elder, an inspired Wagnerian of long standing, this live 2011 concert recording of Die Walküre is a knockout. The Hallé and Elder have built up their Wagner gradually, first with single movements and then, starting at the end of the Ring cycle, with a blistering Götterdämmerung. Here in the second opera once again the orchestral playing is richly nuanced, never hurried, alert in detail. Stig Andersen and Yvonne Howard express blazing urgency as Siegmund and Sieglinde, with Clive Bayley a masterful, brutal Hunding. Egils Silins's Wotan is tender and anguished in his farewell to Brünnhilde. Loge's fire music burns with slow intensity, no mere sparkler but an all-consuming furnace.
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