Octet in Eb major Opus 20 (1) Felix Mendelssohn Download 'Octet in Eb major Opus 20 (1)' on iTunes
Late, great soprano Birgit Nilsson isn't at her best on this variety pack of arias by Mozart, Weber, Wagner, Strauss
Composer: Mozart, Weber, Wagner, Strauss
Repertoire: Or Sai Chi L’onore
Artists: Birgit Nilsson, Various Orchestras and Conductors
Label: Favorit 431 107–2
Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005) was one of the greatest dramatic sopranos of the 20th century and her account of Brünnhilde on Solti’s Ring Cycle for Decca will always be regarded as a pinnacle of recorded art. Power, clarity, focus, stamina – she had it all. But agility? And lightness? Hmmm, well… As the Mozart arias here prove, she was unfortunately more of a tanker than a tug and not at her best in fast-moving passagework. You get a better idea of her greatness from the Wagner and Strauss excerpts: her Isolde is stunning, her Salome is searing and her Elisabeth (from Tannhäuser) is full of unbounded joy.