[Met Performance] CID:130930
Tristan und Isolde {290} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/17/1941.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 17, 1941


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {290}

Tristan.................Lauritz Melchior
Isolde..................Kirsten Flagstad
Kurwenal................Julius Huehn
Brangäne................Kerstin Thorborg
King Marke..............Emanuel List
Melot...................Emery Darcy
Sailor's Voice..........Emery Darcy
Shepherd................Karl Laufkötter
Steersman...............John Gurney

Conductor...............Edwin McArthur

Review of Oscar Thompson in the Sun

M'ARTHUR MAKES DEBUT IN "TRISTAN"

Conducts Wagner Work at the Metropolitan

Before a large audience, Edwin McArthur, best known as accompanist for Kirsten Flagstad, made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera House last night as conductor of "Tristan und Isolde." Mme. Flagstad was the Isolde, as she had been in performances elsewhere conducted by Mr. McArthur.

If the results were not momentous, neither were they materially different from those that have prevailed at "Tristan" performances of the last several seasons. The American conductor knew his score thoroughly and the orchestra played for him much as it has played for Erich Leinsdorf. If there were some unfamiliar rough spots, there also was something of added warmth in the realization of certain parts of the music.

In the first act a momentary snarl was unraveled without a serious contretemps when the orchestral got ahead of Lauritz Melchior, the Tristan, at the phrase "zu Koenig Mark's Land." In the second act the King Marke scene lagged until it all but lost continuity, but it seems fair to charge this to the singer, Emanuel List, quite as much as to the conductor.

The Prelude was tamely played as the entire first act was of rather low contours, orchestrally, as compared to the second and third. Though not lacking in feeling, the "Liebestod" received itself into too much of an accompaniment for Mme. Flagstad, who, however, gave it rather more splendor of tone than usual. Throughout the evening she seemed to be particularly comfortable in her attacks on her highest notes - as if the presence of her accompanist in the pit gave her added confidence - but she joined with Mr. Melchior in some disaffecting departure from the pitch in the love duet of the garden.

Kerstin Thorborg sang Brangäne and Julius Huehn was the Kurvenal, with the smaller parts cared for by Emery Darcy, Karl Laufkötter and John Gurney. Leopold Sachse was Mr. McArthur's collaborator backstage. After having been heartily applauded by the audience each time he entered the pit, the young conductor came before the curtain with the principals at the end of the opera.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).