[Met Performance] CID:91330
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {157} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 11/28/1925.

(Debut: Frederick Vajda

Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 28, 1925 Matinee


DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG {157}
Wagner-Wagner

Hans Sachs..............Clarence Whitehill
Eva.....................Elisabeth Rethberg
Walther von Stolzing....Rudolf Laubenthal
Magdalene...............Marion Telva
David...................George Meader
Beckmesser..............Gustav Schützendorf
Pogner..................Paul Bender
Kothner.................Carl Schlegel
Vogelgesang.............Max Bloch
Nachtigall..............Frederick Vajda [Debut]
Ortel...................Paolo Ananian
Zorn....................Angelo Badà
Moser...................Max Altglass
Eisslinger..............Giordano Paltrinieri
Foltz...................James Wolfe
Schwarz.................William Gustafson
Night Watchman..........Arnold Gabor

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

Director................Wilhelm Von Wymetal
Set designer............Hans Kautsky

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg received six performances this season.




Review of Oscar Thompson in Musical America



The magic of the music which Wagner devised to breathe forth the mellow spell of a summer night in many-gabled old Nuremberg, with its scent of elder blossoms under a benignant moon, its lyrical craftsmen and its lovers' bowers, exercised a never-waning charm when "Die Meistersinger" was accorded its first representation of the season on Saturday afternoon.

With this unparalleled picture of nocturnal beauty went the processional pomp of the Guilds in the final contest of song, every one of the most brilliant of operatic pageants, and the wealth of pictorial incident which intervenes between the churchly [first scene] and Hans Sachs' final stirring panegyric of German art. With the usual cuts and abridgments to shorten the afternoon, there remained four hours and fifteen minutes of music of the highest genius-music of which the ear seems never to tire, save for the omnipresent "Prize Song," which is eclipsed in inspiration by many another melody of the score.

The performance had many admirable qualities, though it dragged-as nine in ten "Meistersinger" representations do-in the dramatically stodgy first act. Mme. Rethberg's singing of Eva was of great beauty, and rightly lifted into high relief, as perhaps the supreme moment of the drama, Eva's outpouring of her gratitude to Sachs, evocative of the famous quotation from "Tristan and Isolde." Clarence Whitehill's Sachs had the tenderness, the geniality and the humanity the role demands and was Düreresque in appearance. Vocally he was at his best in the first scene of last act, but this apparently left his voice somewhat wearied for the long apostrophe at the opera's conclusion. Paul Bender's Pogner dominated the [first] act, in spite of some roughness of tone-a Sachs-like Pogner that recalled this singer's own impersonation of the cobbler poet. Rudolph Laubenthal's Walther was prepossessingly youthful and fair vocally.

Marion Telva's Magdalene was attractive in voice, appearance and action. Other chief parts were entrusted to the singers who have been honorably identified with them since the restoration of this masterwork two seasons ago. Gustav Schützendorf's Beckmesser and George Meader's David were again characterizations worthy of high praise. Arnold Gabor's Night Watchman deserved a word of its own, as did Carl Schlegel's Kothner. The other Meistersinger were Max Bloch, Angelo Bada, Max Altglass, Giordano Paltrinieri, Frederick Vaida, Paolo Ananian, James Wolfe and William Gustafson, good guildsmen all.

Mr. Bodanzky's orchestra had fervor and sensitiveness, with sometimes an excess of zeal on the part of drums and brass. The stage pictures, save perhaps that of the riot episode-which is still open to the objections that have been raised with respect to the inactivity of most of the chorus-were tributes to the art and skill of Mr. Von Wymetal.



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