Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Act II) - Mödl, Windgassen, Hoffman, von Rohr; Leitner. London, 1955
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An unfortunate break in the audio mars this otherwise exemplary recording of the second act of Tristan und Isolde. With about ten minutes of music missing from the love duet, what is left shows both Martha Mödl and Wolfgang Windgassen at the height of their considerable powers. Ferdinand Leitner delves deep into the score's mystical, time-stopping stillness, and when daylight and shame arrive it is shattering in its intensity. Grace Hoffman makes much of Brangäne's anguished lines in the opening scene, and it is a terrible shame her warning to the lovers is among the missing music. Otto von Rohr is a noble, world-weary Marke, and Gustav Neidlinger is on hand for Melot's few wheedling interjections. The sound is very good, if a little distant.