[Met Performance] CID:131480
Tristan und Isolde {292} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts: 04/2/1941.

(Review)


Boston, Massachusetts
April 2, 1941 Matinee


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {292}

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

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

Review of Alexander Williams in the Boston Herald

"Tristan und Isolde"

The Metropolitan's monumental performance of "Tristan und Isolde" was once again on view yesterday afternoon, and naturally there was a full house to hear it. Virtually the same caser enacts it, at least as to Flagstad and Melchior; and they set the very high standard of the production that comprises the basis for what is necessary to recreate the score in so memorable a fashion.

"Use is second nature, ma'am." Mr. Pecksniff remarked, and one might think that something of that spirit of resignation or of mere mechanical projection would, after several years, creep into the performance. Yesterday the third act did seem to have more vitality than the two previous ones; but on the whole it can be said that the standard is maintained, and that is something for all of us to remember in future years when we hear inferior productions.

Mr. McArthur is still more the skillful and sensitive accompanist than the assertive conductor. But we do not very well see how it could be otherwise. The performance after all had been firmly and triumphantly established by Mme. Flagstad, Mr. Melchior and Mr. Bodanzky. It was not for Mr. McArthur to crack the mould. He is evidently a fine musician - indeed we have always known that - and sometimes we should like to hear him in a new production where he can have more to initiate and dissect.

What need we say at this date of Mme. Flagstad's and Mr. Melchior's singing? The latter seemed as superb as ever, and the former emphatically so in the last act, not quite so much so earlier. Mme. Thorborg is also one of the pillars of this monument, and her Brangäme was beautifully sung. (So used to be that of Mme Branzell, and thus is the continuity kept.)

Mr. Kipnis was a splendid and eloquent Kling Marke. Mr. Huehn has grown in the part of Kurvenal. His singing was usually pretty good and is now much better than that. His acting has also improved, though he need not semaphore quite so heartily when the ship finally is sighted. Due to the shallowness of the Metropolitan's stage everything was played much nearer the audience, nor could we see that there was any harm in this, even though it may have cramped the action.



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