[Met Performance] CID:127130
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {223} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/8/1939.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 8, 1939


DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG {223}

Hans Sachs..............Herbert Janssen
Eva.....................Irene Jessner
Walther von Stolzing....Charles Kullman
Magdalene...............Kerstin Thorborg
David...................Karl Laufkötter
Beckmesser..............Walter Olitzki
Pogner..................Emanuel List
Kothner.................Julius Huehn
Vogelgesang.............Max Altglass
Nachtigall..............Louis D'Angelo
Ortel...................George Cehanovsky
Zorn....................Nicholas Massue
Moser...................Lodovico Oliviero
Eisslinger..............Giordano Paltrinieri
Foltz...................James Wolfe
Schwarz.................John Gurney
Night Watchman..........George Cehanovsky

Conductor...............Erich Leinsdorf



Review in Musical America

The season's second performance of 'Die Meistersinger' took place on the evening of Dec. 8 and brought several changes of cast. The most markworthy of these was the Hans Sachs of Herbert Janssen. As the role was an entirely new one for its interpreter, it was perhaps not surprising that it should lack the mellowness and the depth of feeling of some other interpretations. Mr. Janssen sang well and his acting had sound routine. Conceivably, the portrayal may grow in such a way as to acquire the humanity and the personality now only suggested.

But it may be questioned whether his lyric voice-so admirably suited to the music of Wolfram-will ever take on the weight and color that are right for Sachs. The baritone lacked the low notes for the so-called "Flieder-monolog" and could scarcely be heard in the subsequent scene with Eva. But along with the need for more weight and volume was the call for a mellower tone.

The Beckmesser of Walter Olitzki neither gained nor lost with a second viewing. Because of Mr. Janssen's elevation to the role of Sachs, Kothner reverted to Julius Huehn. Not in years has the part been so admirably bodied forth as by Janssen, so it was not Mr. Huehn's fault if the shift was to the disadvantage of the character. Kerstin Thorborg succeeded Karin Branzell as Magdalene. Irene Jessner, Charles Kullmann, Emanuel List, Karl Laufkoetter and others were in the same parts as before. Mr. Leinsdorf's conducting left many points to be settled with further repetitions. Cuts made in Pogner's first-act adddress and Sach's final tribute to the masters would appear to be indefensible on musical grounds.




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