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I still have the Australian-pressed Philips LP version of this recording that I bought soon after it came out. And, I did make comparisons between the media. The recording was made in the later stages of Birgit Nilsson’s career, and her dramatic soprano might not have “pinged” as thrillingly as it did earlier on, but the special Nilsson technique is still present, as is the precise intonation and sensitivity with words. At the time I bought the LP, this was the only way to hear the arias from “Rienzi” and “Die Feen”, or indeed anything much from them apart from the “Rienzi” Overture. It also documents performances of the Wesendonk Lieder and Senta’s ballad that were not recorded by Nilsson elsewhere, and is thus a valuable pendant to her extensive recorded legacy. Going back to the original vinyl, the Philips recording team (in London’s Watford Colosseum) achieve a balance that on would expect to hear from a seat back around Row M in a concert hall. However, orchestral detail on the original vinyl disc was a bit murky. The present transfer focuses the treble a bit more clearly and improves the overall clarity, although with some fizz on the highest frequencies. My nearly five decades old vinyl disc was a favourite in its day. Some of the clicks and pops point to how often it was played! So, I look forward to going to the HDTT transfer in future to relive the glories of La Nilsson. The tracks on this recording were available several years ago on CD, but generally the re-issue history of this recording has been very patchy. Get it now while you can.
Title: Wagner - Wesendonk Lieder / Arias From The Flying Dutchman / Rienzi And Die Feen
Artist(s): Soprano Vocals - Birgit Nilsson
Choir - John Alldis Choir
Conductor - Colin Davis
Orchestra - London Symphony Orchestra
Recording Info: Recorded by Philips 1971
1. The Flying Dutchman Senta's Ballad: "Johohoe! Traft Ihr Das Schiff Im Meere An" 8:02
2. Rienzi Scene And Aria Of Adriano: "Gerechter Gott, So Ist's Entscheiden Schon!... In Seiner Blüte Bleicht Mein Leben" 8:49
3. Die Feen Scene And Aria Of Ada: "Weh Mir, So Nah' Die Fürchterliche Stunde... Ich Häufe Selbst Die Schrecken An" 11:52
Five Poems For Female Voice By Mathilde Wesendonk
4. Der Engel 3:52
5. Stehe Still! 4:06
6. Im Treibhaus 6:57
7. Schmerzen 2:33
8. Träume 4:47