[Met Performance] CID:95360
Siegfried {133} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/10/1927.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 10, 1927


SIEGFRIED {133}
Wagner-Wagner

Siegfried...............Walter Kirchhoff
Brünnhilde..............Nanny Larsén-Todsen
Wanderer................Friedrich Schorr
Erda....................Karin Branzell
Mime....................Max Bloch
Alberich................Gustav Schützendorf
Fafner..................William Gustafson
Forest Bird.............Editha Fleischer

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

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

Siegfried received five performances this season.

Review of Samuel Chotzinoff in the New York World

I sometimes entertain the heretical belief that a century hence "Tristan und Isolde," "Die Meistersinger" and "Götterdämmerung" will be the only works of Richard Wagner to survive the onslaught of time. The first two are unique masterpieces, the fullest and yet most economical embodiments of the poetical ideas which inspired their composition. "Götterdämmerung" is the tail end of a greatly conceived epic plan so grand as to defy a consistent attitude of inspiration in its execution. Even Wagner, with his inexhaustible genius, could not make the "Ring" dramas all of a piece. Of all the four, "Götterdämmerung" is the only one which is artistically absolutely airtight.

In it Wagner is the complete master over his material. He has got over his astonishment at the successful creation of nearly fitting musical tags for his story. His mature imagination plays over them with unerring effect, and alters them to catch the slightest curve of the ever-changing emotions of the great denouement. Listening to and watching "Siegfried" given at the Metropolitan last night for the first time this season, I could not fight off the thought that the second part of the trilogy is the very one in which Wagner nods oftenest. It seemed to me that here Wagner arrived at the lowest ebb of his drama. The mine had been laid in 'Das Rheingold." "Die Walküre" has portrayed the clash of gods and men. "Götterdämmerung" centers the struggle in the monumental tragedy of the ill-starred lovers, Siegfried and Brünnhilde. But in "Siegfried" the epic is making time.

For two of its acts Wagner occupies himself with young Siegfried's attainment of knowledge. For twenty minutes Siegfried forges his sword and then spends half an hour conversing with birds. There is a long conversation between Wotan and Erda. Only in the last half of the third act is there a situation which can inspire Wagner to noble utterance - the awakening of Brünnhilde from her fire-guarded sleep and the subsequent love duet.

Mr. Kirchoff, the new German tenor, appeared as the young hero. After his laudable debut recently in "Das Rheingold," one expected singing and acting of the same standard. But his singing last evening showed frequent evidences of the pinched, metallic high tones of the average German tenor, and his zestful romping, indicative of the high spirits of the young hero, bordered at times on the effeminate.

Mr. Schorr, as usual, was a splendid Wanderer, and Mr. Bloch gave an excellent impersonation of the dwarf Mime. Miss Branzell, as one expected, was a noble-voiced Erda. Miss Fleischer was bit off pitch as the forest bird, something a bird is, traditionally, never supposed to be.



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