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Who is your favorite Wotan?

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Interesting. I find Reinmar much more expressive. I think he has a somewhat different interpretation of the scene, but I find the way he modulates between declamatory and highly legato singing and chest dominant and head dominant tone to be very moving. For example, the "Der Augen leuchtendes paar" section is well contrasted with the opening. Reinmar makes the tone pure and heady, and diminuendos during the phrases, which are sung with superb legato. 4:52-5:05 in the Reinmar performance sounds as close to tears as any signing I've heard. The overall effect is a profound but staid sadness, for me anyway.
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!
 

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I assume you've seen this amazing video? I feel like it's been posted before but I can't recall lol


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Yeah I posted it in the thread concerning the state of modern operatic singing (went a bit under the radar...)! It is indeed an amazing video! To think that we can watch and hear such an artist performing in 1936! Even better, we can clearly see his singing technique. A great tool for emulation!
 
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