Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Joseph Keilberth
Gesamtchor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
verstärkt durch den Aushilfschor und Mitglieder des Lehrergesangsvereins
Bayerisches Staatsorchester München
23 November 1963
Nationaltheater München
Recording Type
  live   studio
  live compilation   live and studio
Hans Sachs Otto Wiener
Veit Pogner Hans Hotter
Kunz Vogelgesang David Thaw
Konrad Nachtigall Carl Hoppe
Sixtus Beckmesser Benno Kusche
Fritz Kothner Josef Metternich
Balthasar Zorn Walther Carnuth
Ulrich Eißlinger Franz Klarwein
Augustin Moser Karl Ostertag
Hermann Ortel Adolf Keil
Hans Schwartz Georg Wieter
Hans Foltz Max Proebstl
Walther von Stolzing Jess Thomas
David Friedrich Lenz
Eva Claire Watson
Magdalene Lilian Benningsen
Ein Nachtwächter Hans Bruno Ernst

Historic but still handsome-sounding Wagner hails from the opening of Munich’s Bavarian State Opera 18 years after the bombing. Joseph Keilberth keeps Die Meistersinger all helpfully on the move, Prelude included, and distinguished casting includes Josef Metternich as a minor master and Hans Hotter as Pogner. You probably wouldn’t have wanted to hear him as protagonist Hans Sachs at this late stage, but frankly anything would have been better than the truly dreadful Otto Wiener, who very nearly ruins everything.

David Nice


I’ve never been much of a fan of Keilberth’s conducting (save for his fine Freischuetz recording), but at least this set does have the rudiments of a sense of occasion to it. Unfortunately, Keilberth’s conducting still strikes me as more pedestrian than not, with certain singers providing most of the excitement. Certain singers, not all. Jess Thomas’s Walther is very exciting, possibly the last time we hear him on disc with a flawlessly steady tone. And Claire Watson (Eva) is an underrecorded artist who usually makes a distinguished contribution and whose singing here provides ample reason for gratitude. Unfortunately, Sachs is just too important to overlook, and Otto Wiener’s Sachs here strikes me as altogether unlistenable. For once, I won’t go into details: I’ll simply say that I’ve never heard a more ineffective or less musical interpretation. It doesn’t help that Hans Hotter’s Pogner also shows minimum vocal control.

Geoffrey Riggs

User Rating
Media Type/Label
Eurodisc, RCA, World Record Club
Eurodisc, Sony
Technical Specifications
756 kbit/s VBR, 44.1 kHz, 1.31 GByte (flac)
First public performance of the rebuild Nationaltheater in Munich