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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Karajan, Vinay, Modl

Release Date: 07/06/2004 
Label:  Orfeo D'or Catalog #: 603033   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Ludwig WeberMartha MödlHans HotterRamon Vinay,   ... 
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival OrchestraBayreuth Festival Chorus
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 3 Hours 51 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Another good transfer for this legendary Karajan performance

"In his Gramophone Collection on Tristan (10/95) AB placed this Karajan at No 4 in his top five, with Böhm (1966), Furtwängler and Knappertsbusch (1950) ahead of it. That high position is earned primarily by Karajan’s spell-binding conducting, evident early on as the Act 1 Prelude, at a slowish tempo, builds inexorably to an engulfing climax. Some episodes, like Brangäne’s Act 1 narrations and the early stages of the Act 2 duet, are driven forward so brusquely that they risk sounding perfunctory. Nevertheless – and taking into account what we know of Karajan’s impatience with his Tristan and the hothouse Bayreuth atmosphere at the time –
Read more there is never any sense of conductor and singers at odds. Mödl is not the most seductive of Isoldes, but her scornful vehemence in Act 1, her volatile passion in Act 2 and her commanding projection of the ‘Liebestod’, confidently riding the waves of Karajan’s orchestra, are supremely compelling. Ramón Vinay has all the confidence and stamina necessary to sing the part uncut, and although the early stages of Act 3 are rather prosaic, the ensuing delirium is almost frighteningly intense, with ample power in reserve for the climactic high As. The rest of the cast list speaks for itself, with Ira Malaniuk an admirably engaged Brangäne and Weber an eloquent Marke.

In the end, there is frustration at the degree to which the hugely important role of the orchestra is reduced to a relatively dim, and at times distorted, background, such is the prominence the microphones accord the voices. But while many recordings redress that imbalance effectively, few can match the overall impact of this one.

Arnold Whittall, The GRAMOPHONE
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Works on This Recording

Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Ludwig Weber (Bass), Martha Mödl (Soprano), Hans Hotter (Bass Baritone),
Ramon Vinay (Tenor), Gerhard Unger (Tenor), Werner Faulhaber (Bass),
Gerhard Stolze (Tenor), Ira Malaniuk (Alto), Hermann Uhde (Baritone)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857-1859; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/23/1952 
Venue:  Live  Festival Hall, Bayreuth, Germany 
Language: German 

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