[Met Performance] CID:99270
Tristan und Isolde {180} Metropolitan Opera House: 04/12/1928.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
April 12, 1928


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {180}

Tristan.................Walter Kirchhoff
Isolde..................Gertrude Kappel
Kurwenal................Clarence Whitehill
Brangäne................Karin Branzell
King Marke..............Michael Bohnen
Melot...................Arnold Gabor
Sailor's Voice..........Max Bloch
Shepherd................George Meader
Steersman...............Louis D'Angelo

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

Review of Noel Straus in the New York World

'TRISTAN UND ISOLDE'

With a performance of "Tristan und Isolde" at the Metropolitan last night the season's presentations in German were brought to an uninspiring close. It is a pity circumstances are such nowadays that an adequate production of this masterpiece has become impossible. Only those whose memories go back at least as far as the days when Fremstad appeared as the Irish Princess can comprehend how enormously this opera has lost in grandeur and heroic stature. Last evening only Mr. Bohnen's singing of the King Mark music in the second act could be deemed worthy of real encomium.

From the moment he came on the stage until the curtain fell on this division of the opera, Mr. Bohnen held the attention riveted upon his majestic portrayal of royal sorrow. His vocalism came as a refreshing balm after the inconsequential treatment of the preceding scenes.

Mme. Kappel's Isolde has grown not a whit more convincing upon longer acquaintance. Only once in the first act did she rise completely to the occasion, and that was with her interpretation of the recital, "Von Einem Kahn," which seems to fare well with all Isoldes. But to reach the height of the role's argument and sustain it there has consistently been beyond her powers.

Perhaps Mme. Kappel was not entirely to blame for the complete want of dramatic intensity in the potion scene of the finale of the first act, for she received next to no support from Mr. Kirchhoff, whose Tristan was never within hailing distance of competence, and whose vocalism was distressing.

Mr. Bodanzky, recovered from his recent indisposition, received a warm welcome and led with more spirit and wealth of orchestral tone than when last officiating in this opera. His rhythmic pace were perceptibly slower throughout the first act.



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