Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Eugen Jochum
Gesamtchor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
Orchester des Prinzregenten-Theaters München
10 December 1949
Prinzregententheater München
Recording Type
  live  studio
  live compilation  live and studio
Hans SachsHans Hotter
Veit PognerMax Proebstl
Kunz VogelgesangFranz Klarwein
Konrad NachtigallKarl Hoppe
Sixtus BeckmesserBenno Kusche
Fritz KothnerEgmont Koch
Balthasar ZornKarl Mücke
Ulrich EißlingerHans Kern
Augustin MoserKarl Mösch
Hermann OrtelFritz Richard Bender
Hans SchwartzWalter Bracht
Hans FoltzRudolf Wünzer
Walther von StolzingGünther Treptow
DavidPaul Kuën
EvaAnnelies Kupper
MagdaleneRuth Michaelis
Ein NachtwächterFritz Richard Bender
Opera Today

Recorded at a December, 1949, performance, this Meistersinger has just about everything going for it. The sound is quite good for its provenance–better, in fact, than the 1956 Bayreuth Meistersinger. I mention the latter because it also preserves Hans Hotter’s Hans Sachs complete. He’s in far better voice here, though. The role’s intimate, interior moments particularly illustrate Hotter’s unusual care with words. The opera’s pair of lovers is also strong. Meistersinger buffs will recall Gunther Treptow’s ringing Walther from Decca’s 1949/50 Knappertsbusch version, or Benno Kusche’s dark-toned, scheming Beckmesser from Kempe’s classic EMI recording. But what a difference it makes to put these singers in front of an audience–and the differences are revealing. One can say the same for Eugen Jochum, who led a very fine studio Meistersinger in 1975. Yet his younger counterpart brings added warmth to the complex orchestral strands, in addition to perfect tempo choices and flowing, unpressured phrasing all around. The filler, a 1944 “Wotan’s Farewell” from Die Walküre (with Heinrich Hollreiser leading the Bavarian Radio Orchestra), captures Hotter at his youthful best. No texts or translations are included.

Artistic Quality: 10
Sound Quality: 5

Jed Distler


In 1949, in a broadcast performance available only on specialty labels, we have, from Munich, one of the liveliest readings of all, conducted by Jochum in peak form. (This is distinct from Jochum’s studio-made recording made many years later for DG in the ’70s.) Hans Hotter leads the cast. His Sachs may be the most insightful of all, but while vocally assured elsewhere, he becomes uneven in the last scene, showing evident fatigue. Treptow is heard in his absolute prime, and I must say I enjoy his usually musical and well-interpreted Walther. No question his is not the bright easy kind of tenor best heard in this role. But I rarely find him off-putting here (the way I do Suthaus). Kupper’s Eva, though, I do — find off-putting, that is. An entirely unsympathetic vocal “face”, registering far too much effort in one of the most deftly written roles Wagner ever conceived. What a shame. Jochum’s reading is delightful and deserves an article in itself! Nothing is missed in a brilliant traversal. The vivid goings-on in every scene have the effect of animated conversation throughout, precisely what the earliest conductors who learned this opera from Wagner himself were consistently praised for. This conversational quality is the touchstone of the very greatest Meistersinger conductors, and Jochum has it for days! What a revelation. If not for his Eva…………

Geoffrey Riggs

User Rating
Media Type/Label
Myto, Walhall Eternity, OOA, Line, OD
Technical Specifications
355 kbit/s VBR, 44.1 kHz, 650 MByte (flac)