[Met Performance] CID:114690
Tristan und Isolde {219} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/12/1934.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 12, 1934


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {219}

Tristan.................Lauritz Melchior
Isolde..................Frida Leider
Kurwenal................Friedrich Schorr
Brangäne................Maria Olszewska
King Marke..............Ludwig Hofmann
Melot...................Arnold Gabor
Sailor's Voice..........Hans Clemens
Shepherd................Hans Clemens
Steersman...............James Wolfe

Conductor...............Artur Bodanzky

Review of Oscar Thompson in the February 25, 1934 issue of Musical America

Olszewska Returns to 'Tristan' Cast

With the return of Maria Olszewska to the role of Brangäne, in which she made her Metropolitan debut a year ago, "Tristan and Isolde" on the evening of Feb. 12 possessed intact the superb cast that kindled new enthusiasms in the breasts of the Wagnerians last season. Frida Leider, as Isolde, and Mme. Olszewska as her maid, again contrived to give intensity to the drama from the outset and both were scrupulous in their treatment of Wagner's melodic line. As in past performances, Mme. Olszewska was engrossingly pictorial. Though inclined at times to an excess of pose and gesture, she was always vivid and vital, whether in action or in song. Mme. Leider obviously was tired by the time the Liebestod was reached with the result that the splendors of the apotheosis were chiefly orchestral, but the dignity and nobility of her characterization and her singing were such as again to place her in the front rank of contemporary Isoldes.

The Tristan of Lauritz Melchior was one of his most satisfying achievements, his voice flashing like a rapier in moments of stress and meeting the heroic exactions of the role with little suggestion of the forcing common to most embodiments of the part. The imposing King Mark of Ludwig Hofmann, the sonorous Kurvenal of Friedrich Schorr, and the competent Melot of Arnold Gabor all contributed to an exceptional ensemble. A word should be said also for the admirable singing of the backstage song of the sailor by Hans Clemens. There is still room for improvement in the handling of details of the action in the final scene, where the fight in which Kurvenal is slain remains absurd. Mr. Bodanzky's orchestra had its inequalities and there were times when the tempi lacked breadth, but it was, all in all, a superior performance.



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