|Tristan und Isolde|
Studio recording in stereo
December 2-4, 6-10 & 13, 1971
January 10, 1972
|Conductor: Herbert von Karajan|
|Tristan|| ||Jon Vickers|
|Brangäne|| ||Christa Ludwig|
|Marke|| ||Karl Ridderbusch|
|Ein Hirt|| |
|Ein Seemann|| |
|Ein Steuermann|| |
Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
|EMI, CMS 7 69319 2
Review by Constantijn Blondel|
This is one of the most chilling Wagner performances I have on my shelves.
Karajan tunnels between chilling intensity, delirious sensitivity and harsh
aggression. To quote the 'rough guides' "This recording is an essay in
Helga Dernesch sings a glorious Isolde, equally at home with the revenging
princess of Act I as with the ecstatic lover of Acts II and III. As I
mentioned in my Karajan-ring reviews, she possesses much of the cleaving-
power that Birgit Nilsson also has, which makes Ms. Dernesch a feast to
Tristan is sung by Jon Vickers, and his performance is frighteningly
compelling and convincing. Especially in Act III he seems to balance on
the edge of sanity. Vocally he sings the inhuman role with ease and it is
truly an experience to listen to his voice.
Christa Ludwig is probably the ideal Brangäne and - as she is in the Böhm
set - she gives the role depth and sings it with real beauty. Walter Berry
is a good Kurwenal, though not as sympathetic as for instance Eberhard
Wächter. Karl Ridderbusch makes the ideal König Marke, with his
sympathetic, calm and mild voice...he is not as much angry with Tristan as
sad that his friend has done this to himself.
The BPO playing is - as always - gorgeous. The Jesus Christus Kirche
acoustics make for a sort of spooky,sound and the orchestral details all
blend into one hypnotising sound-picture without loosing the audibility of
the individual instruments.
This is one of the best-ever Wagner recordings and highly recommended.