Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


DVD REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

alternatively   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883)
Tristan und Isolde (1865)
Robert Gambill (tenor) – Tristan; Nina Stemme (soprano) – Isolde; Katarina Karnéus (mezzo) – Brangäne; Bo Skovhus (baritone) – Kurwenal; René Pape (bass) – King Marke; Stephen Gadd (baritone) – Melot; Timothy Robinson (tenor) – Young sailor/Shepherd; Richard Mosley-Evans (bass)
The Glyndebourne Chorus and London Philharmonic Orchestra/Jiří Bĕlohlávek;
Stage director: Nikolaus Lehnhoff; Set designer: Roland Aeschlmann; Costume designer: Andrea Schmidt-Futterer
Directed for television by Thomas Grimm
rec. live, Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes, East Sussex, United Kingdom, 1, 6 August 2007
Audio formats: LPCM Stereo; DTS Digital Surround
Extra features: Illustrated synopsis [7:15], “Do I hear the light?” A film by Reiner E Moritz [56:05], “Trimborn on Tristan” A talk by Richard Trimborn about the musicological and philosophical background on Tristan und Isolde.
OPUS ARTE OA0988D (3 DVDs) [86:29 + 71:24 + 80:38]


Experience Classicsonline

 

When the overture starts the screen is pitch black with a thin while line in the middle, which slowly grows. After quite some time it is possible to read “Tristan und Isolde”. Nothing else, apart from the text gradually coming even closer. It is like an Ingmar Bergman film. Sparse. The sparsity remains when the drama begins. The sets are stylised. A circular, or rather oval shaped construction with stairs and hidden openings for entrances and exits. Lighting is essential but the simplicity is striking and lends timelessness to the performance. It is no doubt the most beautiful Tristan und Isolde I have seen. The oval construction can be associated with an egg, the origin of all human life; it may even be a vagina. An Ingmar Bergman reference again: Tristan und Isolde is a five-hour-long sexual intercourse. What finally give us some clues as to historical time are the costumes: helmets, togas, coats of mail; and weapons: swords. They establish the period of the original Tristan story.

Everyone who knows this opera and its music also knows that it isn’t exactly filled with action. The plot unfolds slowly, the music is to a large extent slow-moving. We are very much in an inner landscape of feelings and thoughts and the music is hypnotic. Either one capitulates unreservedly and loses all perception of time or one panics and runs away – out into the open for fresh air. Nikolaus Lehnhoff manages to enthral rather than alienate and Jiří Bĕlohlávek draws luminous playing from the LPO. Not once did I question his choice of tempo. With a starry cast that role by role would be hard to beat anywhere in the world this seems like the Tristan und Isolde of one’s dreams.

René Pape is probably the best German speaking bass today with an evenly produced and sonorous voice in the Kurt Moll mould. My only objection is that he sounds too youthful for King Marke, who is supposed to be a very old man. Bo Skovhus, always a splendid actor, is an intense and heroic Kurwenal and Katarina Karnéus is a Brangäne in the Scandinavian tradition - just remember Kerstin Thorborg -  with regal tones.

Tristan and Isolde are two of the most demanding roles in all opera and are often the stumbling-block in most performances. With such a heavy burden there is an impending risk that they will fold up before the last act is over. Robert Gambill was Siegmund on the Naxos recording of Die Walküre - reviewed by me a year and a half ago. He made a decent stab at that role but was a bit uneven. Here he is truly impressive almost to the bitter end. After so many pinched, dry-voiced and barking Heldentenöre it was a relief to hear the role actually sung with sap in the voice and with expressive acting to match. That he began to seem a bit worn in the last act is no wonder and, after all, he is badly injured and weak so he can’t be expected to sound unscathed.

Nina Stemme’s Isolde is already a well known capacity from the EMI recording opposite Domingo a couple of years ago and the question is if she isn’t a notch better here. Like Gambill she sings the role and it is a deeply nuanced reading with beautiful tone and warmth that is rarely heard. This is as close to perfection it is possible to come.

Every Wagner lover should see and hear this set and who knows – even anti-Wagnerians might have to revise their opinions after seeing it.

Göran Forsling 

 


 




 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.