Critic John Ardoin wrote: "Furtwängler's conducting of Meistersinger is surprisingly swift and even impetuous, and what little rumination there is…is limited primarily to the opening of the third act through Sachs's Wahnmonolog. Otherwise, this is an affectionate and lively performance, whose great wealth of detail is achieved without sacrificing spirit and impulse… [Most of the cast] are musically and vocally an undisciplined and undistinguished lot, even Josef Greindl as Pogner. [That] Furtwängler [nonetheless] manages to make this performance so vivid in the face of such vocal adversity speaks volumes for the commitment and insight at work here. There is not a page of the score on which he does not leave his stamp."
WILHELM FURTWÄNGLER CONDUCTS DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG. Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and Chorus, 15-24 July 1943, with Maria Müller (Eva), Camilla Kallab (Magdalena), Max Lorenz (Walther von Stolzing), Jaro Prohaska (Hans Sachs), Josef Greindl (Pogner), Benno Arnold (Kunz Vogelgesang), Helmut Fehn (Konrad Nachtigall), Eugen Fuchs (Beckmesser), Fritz Krenn (Fritz Kothner), Gerhard Witting (Balthasar Zorn), Karl Frollmann (Augustin Moser), Herbert
Gosebruch (Hermann Ortel), Gustav Rödin (Ulrich Eisslinger), Franz Sauer (Hans Schwarz), Alfred Dome (Hans Foltz), Erich Zimmermann (David), Erich Pina (Nightwatchman). Bonus: 4 short orchestral works conducted by Furtwangler: Die Meistersinger—Act I Prelude (BPO, 2-19-49); Parsifal—Karfreitagszauber (BPO, 4-25-51); Götterdämmerun—Siegfried's Funeral March (BPO, 2-19-49) and Tristan und Isolde—Prelude and Liebestod (BPO, 11-8-42). Restoration: Ed Wilkinson (2004); notes by the late John Ardoin. 4 CDs, Total time: 4 hrs 56 min. [AAD] UPC # 017685-11532-5.