La Nilsson - Complete Decca, Philips & DG Recordings (79CD+2DVD)

Decca
$394.99
Current Stock:
SKU:
4832787
Artist:
Birgit Nilsson

Birgit Märta Nilsson was born in Västra Karup in southern Sweden to a farming family on 17 May 1918. She sang a wide variety of dramatic soprano roles, but her reputation was based on her mastery of some of the most punishing in the repertory, whether excelling as the fire-and-ice heroine of Puccini's Turandot, or in the roles of Isolde, Brünnhilde or Sieglinde, which confimed her as a successor to Kirsten Flagstad.

Nilsson's Elektra – the role considered by some critics as her finest achievement – had not only the sheer vocal power required to surmount the huge Straussian orchestra without difficulty, but the emotional strength needed to give truly heroic proportions to the work.

She remains peerless in the repertoire best suited to her qualities. No dramatic soprano has since truly approached her stature. Her extraordinary vocal power and breath control enabled her to hold on to flawless high notes for almost unnatural lengths of time. Her stamina was inexhaustible and impregnable, so that she appeared perfectly fresh at the end of the most grueling performance. She had a rock-solid technique and a voice of such soaring, unforced power that it was able to cut through the massed forces of a Wagnerian orchestra with ease, yet retained a purity of tone which enabled her to switch to the most delicate pianissimo.

"Perhaps the most amazing thing about her was that she rarely, if ever, gave a performance which fell below the standards she set herself, and at the age of 65 she could still dominate the 1983 Metropolitan Opera Gala featuring the cream of the world's singers. She retired in 1984, her Wagner supremacy recognised by all her colleagues, who regarded her with affection and respect, while audiences simply worshipped her as though she had come down to them from Valhalla" – The Guardian

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Features:

  • Limited Edition 79-CD + 2-DVD covering all the major roles Nilsson performed – 27 full-length operas including 2 full Wagner ‘Ring’ cycles.
  • Birgit Nilsson’s complete Decca, Philips and Deutsche Grammophon recordings marking her 100th birthday and produced with the full support of the Birgit Nilsson Foundation
  • Handsome packaging includes CDs presented in wallets with a spine and with original sleeve art encased in an anti-scratch rigid box with magnetic-hinged lid.
  • Beyond the operas recorded for Decca, Philips and DG include 4 operas recorded for EMI (now Warner Classics): Aida, La Fanciulla del West, Turandot and Der Freischütz; as well as her earlier 1959 Turandot under Leinsdorf for RCA.
  • 200-page perfect bound book, in English and German, including:
  • New essay – “Apotheosis Achieved” by Raymond McGill
  • A note by Decca producer Christopher Raeburn
  • Many unseen photographs from the Decca archive
  • Recording Index
  • Composer/Work Index

Highlights:

  • 27 COMPLETE OPERAS, including:
  • TWO COMPLETE RING CYCLES* – Böhm/Solti NEWLY REMASTERED FOR THE CENTENARY *Nilsson not in Rheingold
  • TRISTAN UND ISOLDE with Solti – REMASTERED including the rehearsals PLUS the Bayreuth/Bohm recording from Deutsche Grammophon
  • Strauss SALOME AND ELEKTRA – REMASTERED
  • Verdi MACBETH and Beethoven FIDELIO
  • Two TURANDOT recordings – with Leinsdorf and Molinari-Pradelli
  • AIDA, LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST and FREISCHUTZ – with Heger
  • Decca Operatic Recitals (Verdi, Beethoven, Weber and Wagner) and “Swedish Songs in Land of the Midnight Sun”
  • DVDs of the MET production of ELEKTRA, and the GOLDEN RING documentary of the making of the Solti Ring

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Reviews:

"This magnificent box does Birgit Nilsson proud in this her centenary year. She was born in May 1918 and was the pre-eminent Wagner soprano from the late Fifties until the late Seventies. Her range also extended to the dramatic soprano roles of Verdi (particularly Aida, Un Ballo In Maschera and Macbeth), Puccini (Turandot, Tosca and La Fanciulla Del West), Richard Strauss (Elektra and Salome; truly magnificent) and even Mozart (Don Giovanni). All these operas are presented complete in this 79-CD set, as well as a veritable feast of Wagner.

Of special significance are two Rings; Georg Solti’s celebrated studio recording from Vienna and a live one from Bayreuth from 1966/67 under Karl Bohm when, vocally, Nilsson was in her absolute prime. Perhaps even better is her live 1966 Bayreuth Tristan & Isolde, also with Bohm.

Humphrey Burton’s Golden Ring, charting the final flourishes of the Solti Götterdämmerung recording – is arguably the finest DVD about opera ever produced.

A 200-page, properly bound book, on high-quality paper with some evocative photographs, completes a package every Wagner lover should seek out."

- Daily Mail

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Repertoire Listing:

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

  • Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Georg Solti
  • Fritz Uhl (Tristan), Birgit Nilsson (Isolde), Regina Resnik (Brangaene), Arnold van Mill (Konig Marke), Tom Krause (Kurwenal), Theodor Kirschbichler (Steuermann), Peter Klein (Hirt), Ernst Kozub (Melot), Waldemar Kmentt (Stimme eines jungen Seemanns), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1960

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (excerpts)

  • Hans Knappertsbusch
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1959

Wagner: Die Walküre

  • London Symphony Orchestra
  • Erich Leinsdorf
  • Birgit Nilsson (Brünnhilde), George London (Wotan), Jon Vickers (Siegmund), Gré Brouwenstijn (Sieglinde), David Ward (Hunding), Rita Gorr (Fricka), Marie Collier (Gerhilde), Judith Pierce (Helmwige), Julia Malyon (Ortlinde), Margreta Elkins (Waltraute), Noreen Berry (Siegrune), Maureen Guy (Grimgerde), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1961

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

  • Georg Solti
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1958

Strauss, R: Salome

  • Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Georg Solti
  • Birgit Nilsson (Salome), Eberhard Wächter (Jokanaan), Gerhard Stolze (Herod), Grace Hoffman (Herodias), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1961

Strauss, R: Elektra

  • Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Georg Solti
  • Birgit Nilsson (Elektra), Regina Resnik (Klytämnestra), Marie Collier (Chrystothemis), Gerhard Stolze (Aegisth), Tom Krause (Orest), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1966

Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527

  • Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Staatsopernchor
  • Erich Leinsdorf
  • Birgit Nilsson (Donna Anna), Cesare Siepi (Don Giovanni), Cesare Valletti (Don Ottavio), Leontyne Price (Donna Elvira), Fernando Corena (Leoporello), Arnold Van Mill (Il Commendatore), Heinz Blankenburg (Masetto), Eugenia Ratti (Zerlina), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1959

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

  • Wiener Philharmoniker, Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
  • Lorin Maazel
  • Birgit Nilsson (Leonore), James McCracken (Florestan), Kurt Böhme (Rocco), Tom Krause (Pizarro), Graziella Sciutti (Marzelline), Donald Grobe (Jaquino), Hermann Prey (Don Fernando), Kurt Equiluz & Günther Adam (Prisoners), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1961

Verdi: Un ballo in maschera

  • Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
  • Georg Solti
  • Birgit Nilsson (Amelia), Carlo Bergonzi (Riccardo), Cornell MacNeil (Renato), Giulietta Simionato (Ulrica), Sylvia Stahlman (Oscar), Tom Krause (Silvano), Fernando Corena (Samuele), Libero Arbace (Tom), Piero De Palma (Un Giudice), Vittorio Pandano (Un servo), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1961

Verdi: Macbeth

  • Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
  • Thomas Schippers
  • Birgit Nilsson (Lady Macbeth), Giuseppe Taddei (Macbeth), Giovanni Foiani (Banco), Bruno Prevedi (Macduff), Piero De Palma (Malcolm), Dora Carral (Dama), Giuseppe Morresi (Medico), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1964

Verdi: Aida (excerpts)

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • John Pritchard
  • Birgit Nilsson (Aida), Luigi Ottolini (Radamès), Grace Hoffman (Amneris), Louis Quilico (Amonasro), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1963

Verdi: Arias

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Argeo Quadri
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1962

Puccini: Tosca

  • Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
  • Lorin Maazel
  • Birgit Nilsson (Tosca), Franco Corelli (Cavaradossi), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Scarpia), Alfredo Mariotti (Il Sagristano), Piero de Palma (Spoletta), Silvio Maionica (Angelotti), Dino Mantovani (Sciarrone), Patricio Veronelli (Un pastore), Paolo Tosi (Un carceriere), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1966

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

  • Karl Böhm
  • Theo Adam (Wotan), Gerd Nienstedt (Donner), Hermin Esser (Froh), Wolfgang Windgassen (Loge), Gustav Neidlinger (Alberich), Erwin Wohlfahrt (Mime), Martti Talvela (Fasolt) Kurt Böhme (Fafner), Annelies Burmeister (Fricka), Anja Silja (Freia), Vera Soukupova (Erda, Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder (5)

  • London Symphony Orchestra
  • Colin Davis
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1971

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

  • Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiel
  • Karl Böhm
  • Wolfgang Windgassen (Tristan), Birgit Nilsson (Isolde), Christa Ludwig (Brangäne), Martti Talvela (King Marke), Eberhard Waechter (Kurwenal), Claude Heater (Melot), Erwin Wohlfahrt (Hirt), Gerd Nienstedt (Steuermann), Peter Schreier (Seemann), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1966

Wagner: Tannhäuser (Dresden version)

  • Deutsche Oper Berlin
  • Otto Gerdes
  • Birgit Nilsson (Elisabeth/Venus), Wolfgang Windgassen (Tannhäuser), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Wolfram von Eschenbach), Theo Adam (Hermann), Horst R Laubenthal (Walther von der Vogelweide), Klaus Hirte (Biterolf), Friedrich Lenz (Heinrich der Schreiber), Hans Sotin (Reinmar von Zweter),, Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1969

Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527

  • Orchestra Of The National Theatre Prague
  • Karl Böhm
  • Birgit Nilsson (Donna Anna), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Don Giovanni), Ezio Flagello (Leporello), Martina Arroyo (Donna Elvira), Reri Grist (Zerlina), Peter Schreier (Don Ottavio), Martti Talvela (Il Commendatore), Alfredo Mariotti (Masetto), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1967

Weber: Oberon

  • Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
  • Rafael Kubelík
  • Birgit Nilsson (Reiza), Donald Grobe (Oberon), Plácido Domingo (Huon), Julia Hamari (Fatima), Hermann Prey (Sherasmin), Marga Schiml (Puck), Arleen Auger (Mermaids), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1970

Strauss, R: Die Frau ohne Schatten

  • iener Staatsoper
  • Karl Böhm
  • Birgit Nilsson (Dyer's Wife), Walter Berry (Barak), Leonie Rysanek (Kaiserin), James King (Kaiser), Ruth Hesse (Amme), Peter Wimberger (Geisterbote), Lotte Rysanek (Stimme des Falken), Gertrude Jahn (Stimme von Oben), Ewald Aichberger (Erscheinung eines Jünglings), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1977

Beethoven: Ah! Perfido, Op. 65

  • Karl Böhm
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1982

Strauss, R: Ah! Du wolltest mich nicht deinen Mund küssen lassen (from Salome)

  • Karl Böhm
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1982

Puccini: Turandot

  • Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
  • Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
  • Birgit Nilsson (Turandot), Franco Corelli (Calaf), Renata Scotto (Liù), Renata Scotto (Liù) (Timur), Guido Mazzini (Ping), Franco Ricciardi (Pang), Piero De Palma (Pong), Angelo Mercuriali (L'imperatore Altoum), Giuseppe Morresi (Un mandarino), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1965

Verdi: Aida

  • Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
  • Zubin Mehta
  • Birgit Nilsson (Aida), Franco Corelli (Radamès), Grace Bumbry (Amneris), Mario Sereni (Amonasro), Bonaldo Giaiotti (Ramfis), Ferruccio Mazzoli (Il Re di Egitto), Mirella Fiorentini (Una Sacerdotessa), Piero De Palma (Un Messaggero), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1967

Puccini: La fanciulla del West

  • Teatro alla Scala
  • Lovro von Matacic
  • Birgit Nilsson (Minnie), João Gibin (Dick Johnson), Andrea Mongelli (Jack Rance), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1958

Puccini: Turandot

  • Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
  • Erich Leinsdorf
  • Birgit Nilsson (Princess Turandot), Jussi Björling (Calaf), Renata Tebaldi (Liù), Mario Sereni (Ping), Piero De Palma (Pang), Tommaso Frascati (Pong), Giorgio Tozzi (Timur) & Alessio De Paolis (Emperor Altoum), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1959

Weber: Der Freischütz

  • Chor und Orchester der Bayerischen Staatsoper Munchen
  • Robert Heger
  • Birgit Nilsson (Agathe), Erika Koth (Ännchen), Nicolai Gedda (Max), Walter Berry (Kaspar), Franz Crass (Hermit), Wolfgang Anheisser (Ottokar), Dieter Weller (Kuno), Jurgen Forster (Kilian), Wolfgang Büttner (Zamiel), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)
  • 1969

Wagner: Dich, teure Halle (from Tannhauser)

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Wagner: Der Männer Sippe (from Die Walküre)

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Wagner: Du bist der Lenz (from Die Walküre)

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Wagner: Einsam in trüben Tagen (from Lohengrin)

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Weber: Ozean, du Ungeheuer (from Oberon)

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Beethoven: Abscheulicher! Wo eilst du hin? (from Fidelio)

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Beethoven: Ah! Perfido, Op. 65

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Adam: O Holy Night

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Gounod: Ave Maria

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Franck, C: Panis Angelicus

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Gruber, F: Stille Nacht

  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Sir Edward Downes
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Sibelius: Var det en dröm? Op. 37 No. 4 (J.J. Wecksell)

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Sibelius: Flickan kom från sin älsklings möte, Op. 37, No. 5

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Sibelius: Svarta rosor, Op. 36 No. 1 (Ernst Josephson)

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Sibelius: Säf, säf, susa, Op. 36 No. 4 (Text: Gustav Fröding)

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Sibelius: Demanten på marssnön, Op. 36 No. 6 (Wecksell)

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Sibelius: Höstkväll, Op. 38:1 (Text: Viktor Rydberg)

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Sibelius: Våren flyktar hastigt, Op. 13 No. 4 (Text: Runeberg)

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Grieg: En svane (No. 2 from Seks Digte af Henrik Ibsen, Op. 25)

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Grieg: Fra Monte Pincio, Op. 39 No. 1

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Grieg: Våren, Op. 33 No. 2

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Rangström: Melodi (Melody)

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Rangström: Bön till natten (Supplication to Night)

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Rangström: Sköldmön

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Rangström: En Gammal Danstytm

  • Vienna Opera Orchestra
  • Bertil Bokstedt
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Wagner: Johohoe! Traft ihr das Schiff im Meere an 'Senta's Ballad' (from Der fliegende Holländer)

  • London Symphony Orchestra
  • Colin Davis
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Wagner: Gerechter Gott! (from Rienzi)

  • London Symphony Orchestra
  • Colin Davis
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)

Wagner: Weh mir, so nah (from Die Feen)

  • London Symphony Orchestra
  • Colin Davis
  • Birgit Nilsson (soprano), Birgit Nilsson (soprano)