[Met Performance] CID:120150
Tristan und Isolde {242} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 01/2/1937., Broadcast

(Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 2, 1937 Matinee Broadcast


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {242}

Tristan.................Lauritz Melchior
Isolde..................Kirsten Flagstad
Kurwenal................Julius Huehn
Brangäne................Kerstin Thorborg
King Marke..............Ludwig Hofmann
Melot...................Arnold Gabor
Sailor's Voice..........Karl Laufkötter
Shepherd................Hans Clemens
Steersman...............James Wolfe

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

Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the New York Herald Tribune

'Tristan' in Afternoon

Capacity Crowd Listens to Flagstad and Melchior

The season's second performance of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" drew a capacity audience to the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday afternoon. The cast, excepting for Ludwig Hofmann, who replaced Emanuel List as King Marke, was that of the previous presentation, with Kirsten Flagstad as Isolde, Lauritz Melchior as Tristan, Kerstin Thorborg as Brangäne, Julius Huehn as Kurwenal and Messrs. Clemens, Wolfe and Laufkoetter in the remaining parts.

So much has already been said in praise of the incomparable Isolde of Mme. Flagstad that it must suffice to say that she was in excellent voice and that her portrayal has never seemed more poignant and her singing never more flawless from both tonal and interpretative aspects. Mr. Melchior was at his best in the third act, where both his voicing and acting of the dying Tristan were deeply affecting. His delivery of the more lyric music of the second act was rather huskier than is usually the case.

Mme. Thorborg's Brangäne was again more impressive dramatically than vocally. She had moments in both the first and second acts of genuine expressive beauty. But the call from the tower was marred by a persistent vibrato, and elsewhere her tones frequently were either pinched or spread.

The King Marke of Mr. Hofmann is truly distinguished in gesture and conception; but unhappily his voice was for the most part throatily projected so that some of Wagner's most moving passages went for little. As Tristan's trusted servant, Mr. Huehn did some admirable singing in the third act, and he undoubtedly will gain in poise as he matures. But there was on the whole a decided improvement to be observed in his impersonation.

With a greatly bettered orchestra at his disposal, Mr. Bodanzky gave a telling, justly paced account of the score, often attaining climaxes of overwhelming intensity. The response of the auditors was markedly enthusiastic.



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