The well-known chronicler of the Bayreuth Festival, Penelope Turing, reports in her book that the singers are the glory of this performance. Hotter's Sachs she finds "wise and understanding, tender and robustly humorous of his own weaknesses and those of others…as near the ideal Sachs as we are ever likely to see and hear." Although there are other performances featuring Hotter, this version (never before released on CD) is apt to be referred to in the future at Hotter's finest Meistersinger and a certifiable treasure.
"The clinching performance is Hotter's Sachs, profoundly satisfying in its depth of feeling, its understanding of every facet of Sach's complex character…This set would be worth hearing for him alone."
–Alan Blyth in Gramophone
"Hotter…is simply the best Sachs ever, and even more moving here than in 1949…The other rolls are all cast from strength too, and the chorus is magnificent. There are several Meistersinger sets I couldn't live without; this one emphatically joins their number."
–Michael Tanner in MDC Classic Express
CD-1011(4) THE 1956 BAYREUTH MEISTERSINGER Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. The 1956 Bayreuth Production, cond. Andre Cluytens with Hans Hotter as Sachs, Josef Greindl as Pogner, Karl Schmitt-Walter as Beckmesser, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as Kothner, Wolfgang Windgassen as Stolzing, and Gre Brouwenstijn as Eva.
Timings: CD 1: 70:25; CD 2: 73:50; CD 3: 71:24; CD 4: 52:05. [AAD]
UPC #0-17685-10112-0. Special! 4 CDs priced as 3.