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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde / Kleiber, Bayreuth

Release Date: 06/12/2007 
Label:  Opera D'oro   Catalog #: 7039   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Helge BriliothYvonne MintonKurt MollDonald McIntyre,   ... 
Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival OrchestraBayreuth Festival Chorus
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

WAGNER Tristan und Isolde Carlos Kleiber, cond; Helge Brilioth ( Tristan ); Catarina Ligendza ( Isolde ); Yvonne Minton ( Brangäne ); Kurt Moll ( King Marke ); Donald McIntyre ( Kurwenal ); Bayreuth Festival O & Ch OPERA D’ORO 7039 (3 CDs: 228:71 Read more Text and Translation) Live: Bayreuth 6/27/1974

My colleague Bart Verhaeghe reviewed this performance as issued by Opera D’Oro recently in issue 30:4. Indeed, the slipcase that encloses the new “Grand Tier” incarnation of the opera carries extracts from his review. The Grand Tier range sees major performances from the Opera d’Oro catalog reissued with an informative essay by Robert Levine that covers both the background to the work and the performers. A full libretto with English translation is also included.

Several things are worthy of comment in this excellent performance. The masterful conducting of Carlos Kleiber grabs your attention from the start and does not let go. Here, even more than in his Deutsche Grammophon studio recording, Kleiber galvanizes his troops with mesmeric force. The title roles are taken by singers whose worth has largely been under-recognized, but this recording shows them in fine form. Both have depth to their tone; they bring emotion to their roles and have the staying power for the parts to cope well with Kleiber’s at times rather broad tempo choices. Yvonne Minton’s Brangäne is indeed “first-rate,” as Bart Verhaeghe commented. Kurt Moll’s King Mark is solid and Donald McIntyre’s Kurwenal reminds us of his excellent Wagnerian credentials.

The sound quality is the only area of concern with this recording. Therefore, I am bound to ask if it was worth remarketing the recording so soon with an increased price tag. Yes, because this is a performance that demands to be heard. And the answer is yes if you want this performance and need a libretto. But if you can forego the libretto, then I would snap up the lower priced (non-Grand Tier) Opera d’Oro set without delay. In any case, it’s a recording to have as an alternative to your preferred recording(s). Furtwängler’s account remains close at hand for me, as does the Nilsson and Windgassen 1966 performance at Bayreuth under Böhm’s baton. Kleiber’s Bayreuth performance earns itself a place on my 2007 Want List.

FANFARE: Evan Dickerson Read less

Works on This Recording

Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Helge Brilioth (Tenor), Yvonne Minton (Mezzo Soprano), Kurt Moll (Bass),
Donald McIntyre (Baritone), Catarina Ligendza (Soprano)
Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857-1859; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1974 
Venue:  Live  Bayreuth, Germany 
Language: German 

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