This is a fabulous compilation of live recordings made by the amazing Birgit Nilsson throughout her career, which began in the late forties. We hear her in her most famous roles, sometimes in multiple versions, in well-balanced recordings that provide a true aural picture of Nilsson on stage. Here is a complete list of performances, in chronilogical order:

BARTÓK: Bluebeard's Casle. (Sönnerstedt / Stockholm Radio Orchestra / Ference Fricsay). (February 10, 1953).

WAGNER: Lohengrin (Adam / Windgassen / Uhde / Varnay / Firscher-Dieskau / Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra / Eugen Jochum). (August 14,1954).

WAGNER: Tristan and Isolde (Windgassen / Hotter / Hoffman / Van Mill / Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra / Sawallisch). (August 19, 1957).

WAGNER: Act I Scene III of Die Walküre (Vinay/Bayreuth Orchestra / Knappertsbusch). (July 1957).

WAGNER: Act III Scene III of Siegfried) (Windgassen / Bayreuth Orchestra/Suitner). (August 1967).

PUCCINI: Turandot (Corelli / Moffo/ Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra / Leopokd Stokowski cond). (March 1961)

STRAUSS: Salome (Leibl / Dalis / Shirley / Cassel / Metropolitan Opera Orchestra / Böhm) (March 13, 1965).

STRAUSS: Elektra (Rysanek / Nienstedt / Uhl / Resnik / Vienna State Opera in Montreal / Böhm). (September 18, 1967)

WAGNER: Tristan and Isolde (Thomas / Hesse / Talvela / Wiener / Vienna State Opera Orchestra / Böhm). (December 17, 1967)

WAGNER: Die Walküre (Vickers / Crespin / Adam / Veasey / Talvela / Metropolitan Opera Orchestra / Karajan). (March 1, 1969).

BEETHOVEN: Fidelio (Spiess/ Adam / Crass / Donath / Unger / RAI Chorus and Orchestra / Bernstein (March 17, 1970)

STRAUSS: Die frau ohne schatten (Bjoner / Varnay / Fischer-Dieskau / Bavarian Opera / Sawallisch (September 29, 1976)

WAGNER: Immolation Scene from Gotterdämmerung (sung in Swedish) Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / Rybrant). (January 22, 1953). Sydney Symphony Orchestra / Mackerrass.) (September 29, 1973)

WAGNER: Tristan and Isolde (Prelude to Act I and Liebestod) (Swedish Radio Orchestra / Celibidache). (September 8, 1967).

These indeed do show the fantastic Nilsson at her finest. The Bartók did not remain in her repertory, but it is an example of her brilliant youthful vocal power and security, and her earliest recording in his set—a welcome addition to the Nilsson discography. The two Elektras are definitive, particularly the incandescent one from Montreal in 1967 in which Nilsson and Rysanek inspire each oher to incedible dramatic effect. And we also have luxury of two live Tristans.! This is a beautifully poduced set, essential in any opera collection. The price is very reasonable considering there are 31 disks Get it while you can, and enjoy! The album will not be availableuntl early September 2018.

R.E.B. (July 2018)