[Met Performance] CID:91870
Die Walküre {212} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/7/1926.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 7, 1926


DIE WALKÜRE {212}
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Margarete Matzenauer
Siegmund................Curt Taucher
Sieglinde...............Maria Jeritza
Wotan...................Clarence Whitehill
Fricka..................Marion Telva
Hunding.................Paul Bender
Gerhilde................Phradie Wells
Grimgerde...............Marion Telva
Helmwige................Nannette Guilford
Ortlinde................Laura Robertson
Rossweisse..............Ina Bourskaya
Schwertleite............Kathleen Howard
Siegrune................Grace Anthony
Waltraute...............Henriette Wakefield

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

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Hans Kautsky

Die Walküre received six performances this season.


[In this season's performances of Barbiere, Rosina sang Contro un cor in the Lesson Scene.]


Review of Oscar Thompson in Musical America

Ever the most popular segment of the "Ring," and the one which best holds its own when given separately from its companions of the cycle, "Die Walküre," was warmly welcomed on its return to the Metropolitan Thursday evening, Jan. 7. Those who forewent a program of the Boston Symphony to climb with Wagner to the heights which the other Richard could not reach in his "Alpine" Symphony, had no reason to lament their inability to be at Carnegie for that less-frequently performed composition by Strauss. The dramatic action could have been put out of mind, and in such music as the stormy [beginning] of the first act, the orchestral web as Siegmund and Sieglinde meet, the profoundly beautiful play of the motives in Brünnhilde's scene with Siegmund (foreswearing for the nonce, the frequently excerpted "Magic Fire" music of the final curtain) there was a symphony which not even the varying merits of the singers could make less than Alpine in its splendors. As music drama, too, this was an absorbing performance. Without being better than others that have preceded it at the Metropolitan, it possessed virtues which far outweighed certain evident and now amply familiar shortcomings.

Maria Jeritza returned to the role of Sieglinde, which, for some reason, has had no place in her New York activities since early in her American career. In reposeful moments both her singing and her appearance were of appealing beauty. Stress took something from the grace of both. At any rate, this Sieglinde was no lay figure. There was blood in her veins as well as a voice in her throat.

Margarete Matzenauer will never be a dramatic soprano and by that same token she will always be miscast as Brünnhilde. But the listener could afford to put out of mind the unnatural forcing upward of her voice in the "Battle Cry" and remember her deeply poignant and tonally beautiful delivery of the fateful message to Siegmund. Marion Telva's Fricka was one rather overweighed by the music, otherwise well conceived and executed. Lyric parts remain happier ones for this admirable young artist than those which demand heroic utterance.

Of the men, Clarence Whitehill's Wotan, even when his voice sounds worn, as on this occasion, is by far the noblest we are privileged to see and hear today, a conviction which this performance only served to fortify. Paul Bender's Hundinq was something of an object lesson in what that character can be made to be. His superb synchronization of motion and music was achieved without any sense of the stilted or artificial. As Siegmund, Curt Taucher sang quite as well as he has ever sung at the Metropolitan, rising at times to a real approximation of the Walsung in voice and action. Surely, this is proof that more might be made of the material he possesses.

Thursday's Walküren were Nanette Guilford, Phradie Wells, Laura Robertson, Ina Bourskaya, Henriette Wakefield, Grace Anthony, Kathleen Howard and Fricka having gone back to her knitting, Marion Telva. Lord of lords and K[In this season's performances of Barbiere, Rosina sang Contro un cor in the Lesson Scene.]ing of kings was Artur Bodanzky, who conducted an orchestra that played enthusiastically but with a suggestion of having had no very extended opportunity to renew its acquaintance with the printed pages, prior to being called upon to give this glowing score its due, both of fervor and of notational correctness.




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