George London, tenor. Kirsten Flagstad, soprano. Wiener Philharmoniker. Hans Knappertsbusch, conductor.
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"I have done nothing better than these songs," said Richard Wagner about his Wesendonck Lieder, which prefigured his groundbreaking opera Tristan und Isolde. The great Wagnerian soprano Kirsten Flagstad sings them and "Ich sah' das Kind am seiner Mutter Brust" from Parsifal, while London sings selections from Der fliegende Holländer ("Die Frist ist um"), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg ("Was duftet doch der Flieder so mild"; "Wahn! Wahn! Überall Wahn!"), and more.
"It is an effortless reading in which generosity of emotion and sensitive nuance are held finely in balance, the glory of the great voice hardly diminished though Flagstad was nearing 60 at the time."—Gramophone
"Would that there were many Wagner interpreters today with a tithe of the vocal security she still showed…. London's voice retains musicality even in the strongest moments. Knappertsbusch [had a] a virtually unrivalled awareness of what the music is really about…. A disc that connoisseurs of Wagner interpretation will need to have."—MusicWeb International