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Who is your favorite Wotan?

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I know this is going to horrify some, but I think it's John Tomlinson (with Hotter a close second). Hotter can be very nasal at times in those Bayreuth Ring and I find that annoying.
N.
I feel like it's Schorr, Hotter, and then everyone else. Ferdinand Frantz, John Tomlinson, Donald Mcintyre probably deserve spots in the poll tho.
There may be technically better voices than Hotter, but no other I have heard can so fully render the complex emotion character of Wotan/Wanderer, his doubts and torments are wonderfully expressed.........

Bonetan there can be only one answer with your avatar, HH......:)

 

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Can you give an example of where you hear the complexity of Wotan's emotions expressed by Hotter, how his voice expresses them. As I said, I've never had this experience of his singing and I would like to understand where others get it from.
For Wotans with complete records, probably Frantz is my favorite. I don't care for Hotter after the mid-1940s, to be honest. He was very good in the 1938 recording, but was never my favorite. By the 1950s his sound is often labored. To be honest, I do not hear hardly any of the "Shakespearean" characterization I often see him credited with (without details given). Instead, I hear a singer struggling to produce a steady sound. That leaves little room for characterization.
use same example as above of Wotans farewell (walkure), Reinmar is beautifully sung and technically great but lacks the passion and and torment of Hotter, you hear a "strained labored" voice for HH and I hear an artist wonderfully expressive, there is remorse, sorrow, defiance in his voice

 

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I don't know if he ever sang the role on stage, but Alexander Kipnis made a fantastic recording of the Farewell:
I do like this performance because for me Kipnis does have a more overtly emotional delivery, WK is correct he did not perform Wotan for any MET performance (archive search) but instead was the go to Hundig during 1940s MET wagner performances, also King Marke (tristan) and a few Gurnemanz (parsifal) he has a noticeably darker tone than Hotter.......

On the strength of this performance MET management should have given him a few Wotan roles and find another Hundig
 

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I completely agree with what you say. I was just listening to this performance and you can really feel Wotan/Reimar's pain in the "Der Augen leuchtendes paar". And the legato is absolutely amazing! And one can also feel Hotter's pain, but I think it is partially obstructed by the nasality of his voice. By the way, I do not believe Hotter's prime was during the 50s. Just listen to him singing Wotan's farewell in 1942:


His voice is more clear and not nasal. Even better, there is no wobble. A great performance, even though I still prefer Reinmar!
Hotter is definitely in fresher cleaner voice in 1942 wonderful performance, but stylistically still the same for me as his 1950s bayreuth, and I still find slightly more emotional expression in that 56 live bayreuth performance perhaps because of bayreuth festival setting even though he will soon retire the role and sounds more labored vs 1942 :)
 

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^^^ The few MET complete Rings done in 1940s (archives) seemed to most often use different singer for Wotan and Wanderer, Schorr very early 1940s then Janssen, Huen, Berglund got most performances......most Ring operas just done individually back then

Melchior was go to Siegfried and Siegmund for Ring operas.....
 

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Hotter does have a 1965 video of Wotan's farewell, voice even more strained than 56 Bayreuth sample (and that more than 42 youtube sample) but his consumate skill in vocal expression and characterization, the emotions of torment and sorrow of losing his beloved daughter on full display with his facial expressions to amplify the effect, such a feel for following the music......the pronounced word at 2:34 (the god) is so effective any other version seems like a mistake without it

Callas once was asked how she decided to sing/act scences a certain way, she famously replied if she was unsure all one had to do was listen to the music since the composer had already deeply considered these things while composing the score.....


Farewell, thou valiant, glorious child!
Thou once the holiest pride of my heart!
Farewell! farewell! farewell!
(very passionately) Must I forsake thee,
and may my welcome
of love no more greet thee;
may'st thou now ne'er more ride as my comrade,
nor bear me mead at banquet;
must I abandon thee, whom I loved so,
thou laughing delight of my eyes?
Such a bridal fire for thee shall be kindled
as ne'er yet has burned for a bride!
Threatening flames shall flare round the fell:
let withering terrors daunt the craven!
let cowards fly from Brünnhilde's rock!
For one alone win the bride;
one freer than I, the god!
 
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