[Met Performance] CID:98870
Götterdämmerung {101}
Ring Cycle [49]
Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 03/16/1928.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 16, 1928 Matinee


GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG {101}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [49]

Brünnhilde..............Gertrude Kappel
Siegfried...............Walter Kirchhoff
Gunther.................Friedrich Schorr
Gutrune.................Maria Müller
Hagen...................Michael Bohnen
Waltraute...............Karin Branzell
Alberich................Gustav Schützendorf
First Norn..............Henriette Wakefield
Second Norn.............Phradie Wells
Third Norn..............Dorothee Manski
Woglinde................Editha Fleischer
Wellgunde...............Phradie Wells
Flosshilde..............Kathleen Howard
Vassal..................Max Bloch
Vassal..................Arnold Gabor

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

Review of Pitts Sanborn in the New York Telegram

'Götterdämmerung' Closes the Annual "Ring" Cycle

Kappel, Kirchhoff, Schorr, Branzell and Bohnen Are in the Cast

Instead of three performance of "Götterdämmerung" in a more or less maimed version, such as we have been treated to at the Metropolitan this season, how much wiser it would be to give the work each year in its entirety. Four o'clock could be the hour of beginning, the entr'acts could be long, and the other gracious conditions of festivity and comfort could be observed.

For "Götterdämmerung" is much more than an opera, it is a rite and almost a cosmos. And from the first measure to the last the score is a miracle of lofty and exhaustless inspiration. But for justice and enjoyment enough of time is essential. Only when coherence and consequence have been disturbed by the knife of the compressor many parts of "Götterdämmerung" seem dull. It should be heard in its magnificent integrity.

And even when cuts are made in the interest of fitting the colossus into the cramping frame of a regular repertory presentation they can be distributed less recklessly than was the case with yesterday's Metropolitan "Götterdämmerung." Why, for instance, retain the Norns and hack so disastrously at Brünnhilde herself! Beautiful and poetic as the Norn scene is, it can be spared with better grace than certain crucial utterances of the goddess who has risen to womanhood and wifehood. But the fact of the matter is, "Götterdämmerung" ought not to be cut at all!

The metamorphosis of the Bohnen Hagen has no end. Now a red Gibich devil, now magnified Japanese doll, he turned the villain of the imbroglio yesterday into the clean-shaven image of a medieval clerk. Perhaps the next time Hagen will emerge in the guise of a Flatbush flapper for, being twenty-one, Mr. Bohnen may do as he pleases. The resonance and color of his voice and the expressiveness of his diction often gave legitimate satisfaction yesterday, though he was a strange sight to see.

Mr. Kirchhoff, even if he did look like a cross between Louis XV and Thomas Jefferson, played Siegfried with thorough understanding, authority and virile grace. His delivery of text and music was notable for trenchant diction and skillful phrasing. Mme. Kappel strove earnestly as Brünnhilde and with some measure of success. The fine voice and style of Mr. Schorr were as agreeable as even in the music of Gunther. Mme. Branzell made an acceptable Waltraute and Mme. Müller a pretty Gurtrune. Alberich's lines were uttered effectively by Mr. Schützendorf.

An overanxious horn player contributed flashes of gayety. Mr. Bodanzky conducted with more feeling for euphony and less of headlong haste than he has ever shown in handling this particular score. The audience was large and generous with applause. Thus ended this season's local fortunes of "Götterdämmerung" and the annual Metropolitan cycle of the "Nibelungen" tetralogy.



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