Review by Rodney Hrvatin|
Someone once told me that there is no such thing as a definitive
recording of a Wagner opera. I think they were proved wrong with
this recording. Recorded live over three nights (an act a night),
this recording must rank alongside Solti's "Ring" as one of the
greatest Wagner recordings.
Windgassen as Tristan is gut-wrenchingly emotional and his performance
in Act Three is amongst some of the finest singing on record. Talvela
as King Marke is resplendidly elegant as usual in his role. You almost
feel sorry for him at the end of Act Two.
Christa Ludwig's Brangäne is also brilliant and plays a perfect foil to
the star of this recording...
Brigit Nilsson must rank amongst the finest Wagnerian sopranos of her
day. The first time I heard her Liebestod, I was crying--it was that
good. It is made even more amazing by the fact that it is live--after
a three hour sing, it sounds as effortless as if she hadn't sung all day.
Böhm's efforts on the podium are nothing short of brilliant. His
aggressive attitude to the score at times brings a heightened sense of
urgency to the whole thing, whereas other conductors tend to dwell on
the music and draw it out.
As an aside, DG has recently released the recording on their "Originals"
label. I have not had much of a listen to it, but it seems to me that
there is perhaps a slightly more spacious sound than the original CD
release, but don't quote on that. :-)