[Met Performance] CID:36280
Die Walküre {110} Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 12/19/1905.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 19, 1905


DIE WALKÜRE {110}

Brünnhilde..............Edyth Walker
Siegmund................Alois Burgstaller
Sieglinde...............Olive Fremstad
Wotan...................Anton Van Rooy
Fricka..................Louise Homer
Hunding.................Robert Blass
Gerhilde................Edith Vail
Grimgerde...............Florence Mulford
Helmwige................Jeanne Jomelli
Ortlinde................Mathilde Bauermeister
Rossweisse..............Josephine Jacoby
Schwertleite............Louise Homer
Siegrune................Paula Ralph
Waltraute...............Marion Weed

Conductor...............Alfred Hertz

Review (unsigned) in a Philadelphia newspaper (unidentified)

'DIE WALKÜRE' GIVEN WITH A FINE EFFECT

FIRST SERIOUS PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON HERE

Audience, While Not So Demonstrative as When 'Die Fledermaus' Was Presented, is Well Pleased

"Die Walküre" was given at the Academy of Music last evening - the first serious performance of the season. This is the one music drama of the "Ring" cycle that best stands alone, that carries its own dramatic and musical interest. It had an earnest, dignified and impressive presentation, and if the audience was less demonstrative than when "the Fledermaus" was sung it need not be assumed that it was less entertained. The house was not crowded, but it was fairly filled and had a smart appearance and the evening may be marked as a success.

It had been said that the work would be given without cuts, but this threat very wisely was not carried out to the letter. Some cuts are necessary for human endurance. Many of these have been generally accepted and the music drama gains by them. There was very little that was unusual in last night's performance. The men were familiar. Van Rooy is now the representative Wotan. His fine voice has lost nothing, and he sang as he did two or three seasons ago, with a clear and noble delivery, without the tearing roughness into which he had fallen last year. His farewell was worth waiting for. Burgstaller's Siegmund is equally familiar. He does not gain in style, whatever he may add to his explosive force. He remains a picturesque and generally effective declamatory singer. The volume of his voice is valuable, and there are times when it shows a lovely lyrical quality, as in the earlier portion of the spring song. Blass was a satisfactory Hunding, as usual.

Any curiosity about this performance centered in the women, none of whom had been heretofore associated with this music. Olive Fremstad, who is best remembered for her Carmen, was distinctly successful as Sieglinde. She sang the part with excellent feeling and with abundant power, though not without some irregularities of musical utterance that increased familiarity with the Wagnerian intervals will easily overcome. She is a sincere, temperamental singer and won warm favor with the audience.

Nor, should less be said of Edythe Walker, whose Brünnhilde was a more unexpected experiment and, therefore, the more gratifying in the agreeable impression that it made. The part has an almost impossible range and makes exactions that a contralto voice does not easily meet, but she sang it with great dignity and earnestness and with a solemnity of feeling that was quite impressive. There was, at no time, any sense of inadequacy in this noble looking Valkyre. Louise Homer, with her fresh and musical voice, gave an interest to the art of Fricka that is quite unusual. The Valkyres were sung by Mesdames Jomelli, Call, Bauermeister, Weed, Homer, Ralph, Mumford and Jacoby

For the first time this season the full orchestra was heard under the direction of Hertz. It displayed the fine, full tone that was remembered, especially in the wind choirs, though it seemed not quite as completely wrought together as at the close of the last season. The prelude, however, was beautifully played and there was some lovely detail throughout the work, with finely swelling climaxes in which Hertz was not afraid of noise. The "pit" at the Academy is too small for so large an orchestra, and it compels an arrangement that is unsatisfactory and will account for some lack of coherence in the ensemble. The next opera will be "Rigoletto."



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