Wagner Heroines

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This is a 31-year retrospective (1956-1987) of great Wagner singing on Decca and Deutsche Grammophon featuring fourteen extracts from nine operas with seven great singers. Wagner's heroines make for some of the most pivotal moments in his operas and this anthology highlights almost every aspect of his women – suspicious and inflexible (Fricka, here taken from a recital recording by Regina Resnik), redeeming (Elisabeth and Brünnhilde), passionate (Sieglinde), transfigured (Isolde). We hear the great voices of Joan Sutherland (who sang a number of Wagnerian roles before establishing her incomparable reputation in the 'bel canto' repertoire), her idol, Kirsten Flagstad (here singing Kundry), Flagstad's Scandinavian successor Birgit Nilsson (in two of the greatest opera scenes - Isolde's Liebstod and Brünnhilde's Immolation) and at the start of this recording, the splendidly Italianate singing of Susan Dunn as Elisabeth and Sieglinde. The illuminating notes on the music and the singers are by Wagner scholar Peter Bassett and the booklet includes a photo gallery of the singers.