[Met Performance] CID:92820
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {161} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 03/16/1926.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 16, 1926


DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG {161}

Hans Sachs..............Clarence Whitehill
Eva.....................Maria Müller
Walther von Stolzing....Rudolf Laubenthal
Magdalene...............Marion Telva
David...................George Meader
Beckmesser..............Gustav Schützendorf
Pogner..................Léon Rothier
Kothner.................Carl Schlegel
Vogelgesang.............Max Bloch
Nachtigall..............Louis D'Angelo
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

Review of Linton Martin in the Philadelphia Inquirer

'MEISTERSINGER' IS OFFERING AT OPERA

Wagner's Comic Masterpiece Is Given With Impressive Effect of Ensemble

Müller, Whitehill, Schützendorf Delight in Cast of Varying Quality

A certain Richard Wagner was the star when "Die Meistersinger" was given at the Academy last night. Even the most superlative singers and the ablest actors must, perforce, be overshadowed in their individual efforts by the inexhaustible inspiration of this incomparable comedy of the lyric stage. There were some admirable artists, and other less than admirable, when the Metropolitan management brought over this moving, merry, magical musical masterpiece as the fourth (but let's hope far from final) Wagnerian work of the season here. But the fadeless freshness of the score was the feature of first importance.

A goodly tribe of "wild Wagnerites" stoutly insists that "Meistersinger" is the supreme art work of its form in the world. Certain it is that it achieves greatness in the comic manner in a fashion unique and unapproached. And certain it is that as that extraordinary last act builds up and up, carried to its climax with irresistible pulse and power. It seems the ultimate possible in a panoramic picture in triumphant tone of the great heart of humanity in genial aspect.

One of the best things about the Metropolitan's "Meistersinger" is the overwhelming manning of forces in the final scene. Despite the great resources employed there was admirable unity, and the choral work was of a high order. It was, indeed, managed much better than the second act riot, which presents the paradoxical picture of some rioters brawling but not bawling, while others bawl but never brawl.

Most of the principal singers have been heard here before. Maria Müller, the Eva of the occasion, who has earned impressive honors in Wagnerian roles here earlier this season, made her Philadelphia debut last season in the part she performed as charmingly last night. Not only is she one of the most engaging Evas ever seen here in appearance, but her fine, fresh, fluent voice is also an unfailing delight. Its real power and beauty most glowingly revealed in the great quintet in the [first] scene of the last act.

Clarence Whitehill repeated his fine and feeling characterization of the benign and philosophic Hans Sachs. It may be charged that he has not the vocal power or racial background that Friedrich Schorr brings to the role. But his is the sincere, balanced and perceptive performance.

A capital comedy characterization - in certain aspects the triumph of the evening - was the Beckmesser of Gustav Schützendorf. He stresses the ridiculous, rather than the sinister traits of the jealous Marker, in whom Wagner has created so masterly a caricature. His singing of the absurd serenade, his bits of byplay in Hans Sachs shop and before and during his attempted "Prize Song" were uproariously amusing. George Meader brings just the right touch to the important part of David. Other able artists were Leon Rothier as Pogner, Carl Schlegel as Kothner and Marion Telva as the nurse.

Rudolph Laubenthal was the Walther. His qualities as singer and actor have been comprehensively commented upon in these columns on other occasions, and need not be enlarged upon after so festive an affair as "Meistersinger." He gave a typical performance. Artur Bodanzky conducted in an always competent, if not always distinguished, style.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).