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Subject: Re: Vinay
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Sat, 20 Jan 2018 19:53:55 -0500
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I know Vinay started off as a baritone, but I don't really care for his later baritone outings.  
There were problems with the voice by that time that went beyond just a shrinking range.  I 
have a tape of Vinay singing Iago with Dallas Civic Opera in 1963 (w/ Del Monaco and 
Ligabue, Rescigno conducting).  It is only so-so.  I think his Telramund on the Sawallisch 
recording is good but not equal to Uhde's in the 1953 live recording.  In 1953, the scene 
between Varnay and Uhde in Act II is beyond belief - it just reeks of evil.  Better even than 
Ludwig and Fischer-Dieskau on the Kempe recording, although they are fantastic, too.  
Varnay just sounds nastier than Ludwig; more metal in the voice.

I know Lohengrin is frequently lumped in with Wagner's earlier pre-Ring work, more 
conventional Grand Opera a la Meyerbeer.  And not without justification.  But Act II, which 
Wagner wrote last, has passages to rival anything in Wagner's later works, the prelude and 
opening scene among them.  The only other scene Wagner wrote that so completely exudes 
evil and menace is the colloquy between Alberich and Hagen at the beginning of 
Gotterdammerung Act II.   

MDW  

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