The book Heroes in a Sacred Place describes in words and pictures the tenors who first appeared in Bayreuth between 1884 and 1914. The goal of the present CD is to do the same acoustically. It is a remarkable phenomenon that in the second half of the 20th century this first, self-contained period of the Wagnerian Festivals, was defamed with almost studied contempt. Especially the "new" Bayreuth went to great lengths to play down the artistic quality of the early festival years to the greatest possible extent. An ossified tradition opposed to every reform: this was how the Wagnerian interpretation of the "old" Bayreuth was portrayed. The term Heldentenor had become almost an insult following the innovations of Wieland Wagner. Unmusical andRead more dumb, fat and slow-moving, monotonously loud and hopelessly outdated: this was the typical description of the singing actors who played the Wagnerian heroes during the reign of Cosima and Siegfried Wagner. In reality, the historical sound documents from the early days of recording technology are nevertheless authentic enough to give the lie to the disdain with which the old Bayreuth heroic tenors are belittled today. Recordings from the early 20th century prove that the vocal abilities of the old heroes were considerably more advanced than their maliciously maligned reputations would suggest. You will now be able to listen to this CD and judge for yourself. Read less
Tristan und Isolde: Isolde! Tristan!...O sink' herniederby Richard Wagner Performer:
Lillian Nordica (Soprano),
Georg Anthes (Tenor)
Period: Romantic Written: 1859; Germany Date of Recording: 1903 Venue: Live Metropolitan Opera House, New York City Language: German Notes: This selection is presented in excerpted form.