Having only ever owned the 1953 Furtwangler account of Tristan, I was searching for a later recording but rather than go for Pappano, Thielemann or Barenboim, I decided on this live 1966 account by Karl Bohm, recorded at Bayreuth.
Apart from being at a really good price (this is a genuine 'box' set unlike some of the other DG/Decca Orginals operas) the cast is totally luxurious - Nilsson, Windgassen, Talvela, Ludwig and Wachter with Peter Schreier even taking the small part of the Young Sailor - innuendo not intended.
Despite Talvela at times sounding sepulchral (probably the microphone placement/balance) you would never guess at this being a Live recording. Windgassen here sounds less strained than he does at times in some studio recordings. Nilsson is as usual superb and the orchestra makes the neck tingle in the Liebestod - here perhaps even better than Karajan's much praised ending?
For me this is the number one choice for a Tristan set. Whether it is the Bayreuth sound or the stellar cast, there is a certain electricity with this recording that makes it hard to refuse.
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