A centenary is an ideal excuse to revisit the work of a great artist, and this year we have one of the greatest, the Swedish dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson (featured in the May 2018 issue of Limelight). Nilsson was born in 1918 and died on Christmas Day, 2005. She recorded primarily for Decca, but appeared in EMI and RCA opera sets too. All are included in this elegantly massive Decca box of 79 CDs and two DVDs, simply titled La Nilsson. (Separately, Sony has released a centenary collection of rare live performances.)

Birgit Nilsson. Photo © James Heffernan/DG

La Nilsson did not have a creamy voice of sheer beauty: hers was a powerful laser, a combination of silver and steel, formidable at the top, and her stamina made her the perfect singer to battle the orchestras of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Of the latter, her famous Salome and Elektra...

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