Wagner: Tristan und Isolde - Nilsson, Windgassen, Meyer, Neidlinger, Hotter; Böhm. Bayreuth, 1964
Listen to a Sample:
- I am at a bit of a loss in describing Birgit Nilsson. Her voice voice possessed power and beauty the likes of which the world has never seen. These gifts were such that a lazier singer could have easily spent her career dazzling audiences with vocal pyrotechnics alone, however Nilsson's artistry went far beyond her gifts, as this stunning performance of Tristan und Isolde reveals. Nilsson probes the depths of Wagner's most other-wordly music drama, using a varied palette of vocal colors as well as a very personal connection to the text. The result is a fully fleshed out character who makes you at times even lose sight of her vocal achievements.
- Many argue that Wolfgang Windgassen was not a true Heldentenor. Not having every heard him live I cannot weigh in on that, however, I will say there are very few tenors who were able to sing Tristan with the kind of vocal control and sweet lyricism that he brought to the part.
- Kerstin Meyer's warm mezzo is well-cast as Brangäne and Hans Hotter brings stoic anguish to Marke's Act II monologue.
- Karl Böhm and the forces of the Bayreuth orchestra render Wagner's nearly unplayable orchestration with astonishing ease.
- None to mention.