[Met Performance] CID:89640
Die Walküre {211}
Ring Cycle [46]
Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 03/5/1925.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 5, 1925 Matinee


DIE WALKÜRE {211}
Der Ring des Nibelungen [46]

Brünnhilde..............Nanny Larsén-Todsen
Siegmund................Rudolf Laubenthal
Sieglinde...............Elisabeth Rethberg
Wotan...................Clarence Whitehill
Fricka..................Karin Branzell
Hunding.................William Gustafson
Gerhilde................Phradie Wells
Grimgerde...............Marion Telva
Helmwige................Nannette Guilford
Ortlinde................Laura Robertson
Rossweisse..............Ina Bourskaya
Schwertleite............Kathleen Howard
Siegrune................Raymonde Delaunois
Waltraute...............Henriette Wakefield

Conductor...............Artur Bodanzky

Review of Herbert F. Peyser in the Telegram

A Festival 'Walküre'

The fact that "Die Walküre" is one of the most popular and frequently represented repertory operas did not affect in the least the interest it evoked yesterday afternoon when it fell into its proper place in the "Ring" scheme, Except for a somewhat slender standing room attendance than at last week's "Rheingold," the Metropolitan was quite as crowded and not a seat remained unsold in the box office several hours before the performance began. The present Wagnerian festival was plainly a happy thought on the part of Mr. Gatti-Casazza. There is no question that a strong desire exists here for special Wagnerian representations which limit their appeal to the most intelligent and enthusiastic music lovers, whose cooperating sympathy means so much when it comes to establishing the festival atmosphere absolutely indispensable if Wagner's works are to exert their greatest effect.

Outside of this imponderable but precious element there was no feature about yesterday's performance that calls for renewed scrutiny. It has never been a matter of principle at the Metropolitan to put the same role in the succeeding dramas into the keeping of one artist. Even Wagner himself regretted, after the first Bayreuth festival, that his exaggerated sense of fitness had made him refuse Albert Niemann's plea to sing the Siegfrieds as well as Siegmund and entrusted the part of the young hero to the doubtful mercies of the inefficient tenor, Unger. Mr. Gatti, having exhibited Michael Bohnen's superb, conquering Wotan in the prologue, assigned the perplexed and care-gnawed god of the second work to Clarence Whitehill, whose embodiment remains unsurpassed in its veraciously Wagnerian attributes and who was, yesterday, in noble form. Next week it will be Mr. Schorr's turn with the perambulating divinity.

Similarly Mme. Larsen-Todsen, being occupied with Brünnhilde, handed over Fricka to Mme. Branzell. The new soprano's youthful wish-maiden excels her agonized woman of the culminating tragedy, but falls a good deal short of her Isolde. Mme. Rethberg, though rumored to be combating an indisposition, discharged the duties of Sieglinde as well as she usually does in a role of which she is not the most qualified exponent. Mr. Laubenthal made heavy work of the higher passages of Siegmund's music, while Mr. Gustafson's Hunding embodies once more the last word in kid-glove barbarians.

Mr. Bodanzky's treatment of the first act had all its customary features of a tameness bordering on triviality. When the instrumentation in the subsequent acts become heavier the conductor's performance gains measurably in breadth and power. But one still awaits a plausible explanation of the arbitrary habit he has of slowing down the tempo by one half at the rise of the second curtain just where Wagner explicitly asks for "dasselbe Zeitmass."



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