Customer Review

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kleiber's problem child..., 4 Sep 2013
This review is from: Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (DG The Originals) (Audio CD)
I don't like recordings where singers appear that absolutely could not sing their roles on stage. An example is Turandot on Decca, with Joan Sutherland - a coloratura soprano as the icy princess. I have experienced Dame Joan live on several occasions and I know she had a marvellous and very big sound all the way up in the strasosphere, but why do you think this clever lady never sang Turandot on the stage? Because she knew that it possibly could have damage her highest notes. For the same reason she never took on Abigaille in Nabucco. Here, as Isolde, we have the most beautiful voice of Margaret Price, but surely, she could never have sung the role of Isolde on stage, beeing a wonderful Mozart, Verdi and even Strauss singer. She did never take part in a staged performance, certainly knowing that she could have lost her voice after the dramatic first act, just as Helga Dernesch did, in actual performance. Dernesch also losed her top notes all too early in her career. For long, Carlos Kleiber tried to get the Swedish Wagnerian soprano Catarina Ligendza as his Isolde, but she denied, meaning - after her experiences with the recording of the DG Meistersinger - that the way recordings nowadays are made, on small pieces of tape put together without any feeling of continuity in the making, was so unnatural that she could never more be a part of studio recordings. Kollo is acceptable as Tristan, no more. Kleiber conducts wonderfully and the sound is clean, the orchestra in top form. But because of the singers in the main parts, this should never be your first choice of a Tristan recording. It could, however, fit in as a beautiful second or third choice, perhaps after Nilsson (and Flagstad)...
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Sep 2013 08:42:55 BDT
Mr Swallow says:
Yes but you seem to forget this is a recording. It's what we hear out the speakers that matters.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2013 08:48:07 BDT
Dag Kyndel says:
Yes of course you are right. There is not anything wrong with the singing - it's me who cannot get rid of my thoughts of being in the operahouse when listening with my eyes closed

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Apr 2014 15:49:43 BDT
You're right and that's why it's such a fantastic recording in my opinion. Margaret Price would never sing the role onstage but her rendition shed a new light on Isolde's character: I think she's the lightest, most fragile, most lyrical, most feminine Isolde I've heard. She brings some humanity to the role, she's really touching. Kollo is not bad, the direction is superb and the sound is perfect. Probably not the first choice of a recording of Tristan but a great second choice!
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