[Met Performance] CID:140750
Tristan und Isolde {315} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/2/1946., Broadcast

(Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 2, 1946 Matinee Broadcast


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {315}
Wagner-Wagner

Tristan.................Lauritz Melchior
Isolde..................Helen Traubel
Kurwenal................Joel Berglund
Brangäne................Kerstin Thorborg
King Marke..............Alexander Kipnis
Melot...................Emery Darcy
Sailor's Voice..........John Garris
Shepherd................Karl Laufkötter
Steersman...............William Hargrave

Conductor...............Fritz Busch

Director................Lothar Wallerstein
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Mathilde Castel-Bert

Tristan und Isolde received three performances this season.

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the Herald Tribune

'Tristan" Heard at Metropolitan Under Busch

Berglund is Kurwenal in Year's First Presentation of Wagner's Music-Drama

Fritz Busch conducted Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" for the first time here yesterday afternoon at the Metropolitan Opera House where the music drama had its first performance of the season. The title rôles, as on many previous occasions, were sung by Lauritz Melchior and Helen Traubel, while Joel Berglund sang his first Metropolitan Kurwenal.

The general musical and interpretative conception of the work under Mr. Busch's direction told of that noted conductor's intimate understanding of "Tristan und Isolde;" it was sensitive, well proportioned, flexible in tempi, and emotionally convincing. The orchestra, as a rule was not over - stressed, but there was a due sense of climax at the dramatic high points, and also of increasing tension and emotional temperature as these were approached, as in the long dramatic ascent of the second act.

Mr. Berglund was a very sympathetic Kurwenal; his impersonation presented a combination of sturdy bluffness and of solicitous tenderness; this Kurwenal's devotion to the wounded Tristan was strikingly represented. His voice was vigorous, not always clear and hardly mellow, but it carried well and portrayed the expressive color of the music.

Miss Traubel was usually in good voice, especially in the more proclamative portions of her music; these rang forth with firm, strong and far-carrying tones. She depended, perhaps unduly, upon dynamic contrasts rather than more gradual shading, and some of the softer passages in her singing were not always readily audible above the orchestra. But apart from this the American soprano gave a laudable vocal interpretation of marked expressive effectiveness.

Mr. Melchior's Tristan reflected his knowledge of the character; it was vigorously and emotionally represented to the eye. His singing also carried dramatic conviction, but he has been heard in better vocal form; there was an occasional impression of effort and some vociferous measures. Miss Thorborg was a rather gesturesome Brangäne, whose tones were frequently lacking in clarity and focus. Mr. Kipnis sang Marke's reproaches in somewhat opaque and weighty tones, but with ample expressiveness. Mr. Hargrave was heard for the first time in the few measures allotted to the Steersman, and Mr. Darcy was a satisfactory Melot.



[Traubel's costumes were designed by Adrian.]



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