[Met Performance] CID:33160
Die Walküre {100}
Ring Cycle [27]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 03/8/1904.

(Debut: Miss Schueler
Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Academy of Music
March 8, 1904


DIE WALKÜRE {100}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [27]

Brünnhilde..............Johanna Gadski
Siegmund................Ernst Kraus
Sieglinde...............Olive Fremstad
Wotan...................Adolph Mühlmann
Fricka..................Louise Homer
Hunding.................Victor Klöpfer
Gerhilde................Lillian Heidelbach
Grimgerde...............Johanna Pöhlmann
Helmwige................Selma Kört-Kronold [Last performance]
Ortlinde................Paula Ralph
Rossweisse..............Miss Schueler [Debut]
Schwertleite............Louise Homer
Siegrune................Marcia Van Dresser
Waltraute...............Isabelle Bouton

Conductor...............Felix Mottl

Review (unsigned) in a Philadelphia newspaper (unidentified)

THE SECOND NIGHT OF THE WAGNER TRILIGY

Good Performance of 'Die Walküure,' with Some Unfamiliar Singers

The promise given in the prologue was fairly sustained, though not without disappointments, in the performance of "Die Walküre," at the Academy last night. It had some very interesting features. The first bars of the prelude commanded attention, and it was evident at once that the music was to have a rich and significant presentation under Mottl's direction. He conducts the Wagner music with much greater suavity than Hertz: without violence or abruptness, but with abundant power, and always with poetic sentiment and clear expression, This music, melodiously eloquent and infinitely varied, is so continuously and cumulatively beautiful, and the orchestra was so satisfying in tone and so admirable in exact and fluent execution that it gave uninterrupted delight and would have carried a much weaker exposition of the drama.

The performance was far from weak, though it was not uniformly strong. This was one of Kraus's good nights, and he threw himself into Siegmund with as much earnestness as he is master of, pouring out his voice in abundant volume and with unusually musical effect. A singer with a voice can hardly fail in the first act of "Die Walküre," which is pure "opera" of the most exquisite kind, but Kraus was, in many respects, really quite fine. He was exceedingly well aided by Miss Fremstad, whose Sieglinde was attractive and agreeable, earnest and sincere. and sung with a clear and telling and well-sustained voice. Some of its tones are hard, but it is a valuable voice, to be warmly welcomed in this line of work.

The second act brought Madame Gadski as Brünnhiide, a fine role, which she sings with great dignity and sentiment and with that purity of voice and sincerity of style and the lovely musical quality that have combined to make her so rightly esteemed an artist. Hers was really the distinguished figure of the opera, but her Brünnhilde needs no fresh praise now. The Fricka was Louise Homer, whose rich young voice gave a surprising interest to what is usually an abhorrent part. Notwithstanding all that her declamation lacks in repose and calm authority, her scene gave uncommon pleasure. A voice is a great qualification for a singer, after all.

Voice is scarcely Muhlmann's distinction. He is a serviceable member of the. company and has plenty of dramatic expression, but he was not the Wotan the audience had reason to expect, though no red slip announced the substitution. He was dramatically truculent and undignified, and in the essentially lyric aspect of this great role entirely inadequate. It attests the value of the music that it made it possible to endure even his "Farewell."

One of the brilliant features of the performance was the {start] of the third act. The Valkyries all could sing - such artists as Kronold and Homer being conspicuous among them, and their strange music was wonderfully well done. Moreover, they were all interested in the situation, and knew how to move and to group themselves, so that the scene was stirring in a pictorial sense as well as musically. Indeed, the ensemble of the opera was unusually satisfying, the general effect being always interesting and often very impressive. The next performance in the cycle will be "Siegfried" on Friday evening.



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