We said goodbye to many beloved artists and celebrities this past year, including a number of great musician. Hildegard Behrens, the celebrated German soprano, passed away this year at the age of 72. She was most famous for her performances in the dramatic German repertoire of Wagner and Strauss, as evidenced here on this recording from the famous Otto Schenk production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Met. Behrens was “discovered” by the great Herbert von Karajan, who chose her to star in a production of Strauss’ Salome at the Salzburg Festival. From there, her career as a Wagner soprano took flight. Her signature role, however, was Brünnhilde, and we can see hear in this recording that she was a total natural when it came to singing this fiendishly difficult role.