Birgit Nilsson (right) was undoubtedly the loudest Brünnhilde ever heard, and arguably the greatest ever recorded -- she was undoubtedly the Brünnhilde of the twentieth-century. And she has just died. She made the role of Brünnhilde her own and, for her, the fat lady has now sadly sung. Says The Telegraph:
Birgit Nilsson, who has died aged 87, was considered to be the greatest Wagnerian soprano of her day; 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 a purity of tone which enabled her to switch to the most delicate pianissimo.I'll be playing Act III of Siegfried today in tribute, particularly 'Heil, dir Sonne!' (Hail to the Sun!) [Listen to the first twenty seconds here]. Farewell Birgit.