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Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Tokyo, 1993) [2 DVDs]
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This production of Richard Wagner s Tristan und Isolde was recorded during the Deutsche Oper Berlin s great tour to Japan 1993. Directed by Götz Friedrich and conducted by Ji í Kout, this interpretation of the adulterous love between the Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish princess Isolde was a great success.
Wagner s composition of Tristan und Isoldewas inspired by his love affair with Mathilde Wesendonck and the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. Widely acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertoire, this music drama was notable for Wagner s advanced use of chromaticism, tonality, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension. The score of Tristan und Isolde has often been cited as a landmark in the development of Western music.René Kolloand Gwyneth Jonesgive brilliant performances and prove once again, why they belong to the world s best Wagner singers.
Nachdem er bei der Ermordung des irischen Fürsten Morold verwundet wurde, begibt sich Tristan von Cornwall zu Morolds Verlobter Isolde, um sich heilen zu lassen. Später rät er König Marke, Isolde zur Frau zu nehmen, und reist selbst nach Irland, um sie zu holen. Kurz vor der Ankunft in Cornwall trinken beide einen Liebestrank und gestehen sich ihre Liebe. Bei einem Treffen werden sie von Marke und seinen Gefolgsleuten überrascht, Tristan wird vom verräterischen Melot verwundet. Auf seiner Burg stirbt er in Isoldes Armen, bevor Marke dort eintreffen kann, um die Liebenden zu vermählen.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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In 1947 I bought my first Opera recording - a pound plus - of LP's by obscure artists from Leipsig doing Tristan und Isolde . The mony I had earned as a caddy at the local Golf course and it was hard earned but to the 14 y/o boy there was magic in this music and there still is. Over the years I have heard many artists of varying ability in a variety of productions - some good and some indifferent. Have I ever witnessed a perfect Tristan? Yes , perhaps; in November 1958 at Lyric Opera Chicago with Arthur Rodzinski conducting, Birgit Nilsson began the Liebstodt sometime after Midnight (it began at 7:30p.m.) but none of the 3,000 + and myself in the audience complained. This was magic. The tenor was Windgasen, I believe.
Since then I have listened to and seen more than a dozen live performances and dozens of recordings . Some good as the 1974 l'Orange with Nilsson and Vickers but the recording sound is horrible and the 1983 Bayreuth production under Ponelle with Kollo and J. Meire. She is pretty but not vocally an Isolde. That is the problem! I've heard a lot of good sopranos, great in other roles, but not up to Isolde. That is why I love this disc. I've heard Kollo live at least three times in the 80's as Tristan. He was the epitome of the masculine, besotted lover of grand voice. Yes, by 1993 the year of this recording of this disc he was past prime but could still carry it well as he proves in the third act delirium before death when he rips off his bandages and dies in her arms. (drama!),
Isolde is a different matter! I've heard the beautiful recordings of Flagstat and seen Nilsson three times and been awed by them.
Eaglen, W. Meier, M. Price, and J. Meier just don't come near. Then there is Gwyneth Jones. I've heard her live in London, New York and Chicago. Sometimes she is magnificent and sometimes not. I've heard a performance so bad I swore I'd never go to see her again. Fortunately I did go to see her in mid-eighties in Chicago and she was brilliant. This disc is 1993; both stars are past vocal and bodily prime. The shine is off the voices but the basic voice is there -- and -- much of the magic. This is the only disc available that captures Ms Jones 's Isolde and she is formidable. Yes they are past prime but with the mist of Cornwall and Kareol in my eyes, I'm still thrilled by their Liebstodt scene. I love this disc.
Robert Lloyd was my favorite Bass of that time. He made an unforgettable Boris which I saw several times and have in recording; better than any Russian of that era (?). Here he makes King Mark's monologue interesting. He also looks "kingly".
Hanna Schwarz has sung this role on several recordings over the years and does it well, but here she does not soar at the last part of "Einsam wachend...." some of the most beautiful music of the opera. The best Brangane in memory was Grace Hoffman who could soar at " Habet acht". That was a "wow!".
Do I feel strongly about other Wagner? No, not for Parsifal, Meistersinger, Tannhauser but for Lohengrin and the Ring,- somewhat.
For the fourteen year old in me yet, the magic of Tristan is still there.
I strongly recommend this disc.