OP2658. TRISTAN UND ISOLDE - Act II, Live Performance, 16 April, 1939, w.Barbirolli Cond.NYPO; Kirsten Flagstad, Eyvind Laholm, Enid Szantho, John Gurney & Daniel Harris. (Germany) West Hill Radio Archives WHRA 6044. Transfers from new sources by Ward Marston & Aaron Z. Snyder. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 5425008378077
“This recording was made in April, 1939, when the European continent was on a crash course toward war. [It preserves not only the art of Flagstad, but also Barbirolli]. It is derived from a set of acetate broadcast masters which were then at the cutting edge of technology and offer sound of startling clarity, definition, and dynamic range with little distortion….As one might expect, Flagstad is the star of the singing cast. This recording captures her at the top of her career, with an incredible juxtaposition of volume, clarity, and refinement. Her top notes are produced with ease and assurance, and they extend downward with unparalleled power. Her intonation is perfect and her characterization of the rôle most impressive. In short, this is as good as it gets; and we have never since heard anything close, even from Flagstad herself….This recording is worth far more than its modest cost for the work of Flagstad, Barbirolli, and the NYPO alone.”
-John P. McKelvey, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2012
“The West Hall Radio Archive issue of Act II of Tristan und Isolde, a broadcast of 16 April, 1939, is a treasure….As Lauritz Melchior was in tour with the Met at the time of the New York broadcast, he wasn't available, so Swedish tenor Eyvind Laholm is heard as Tristan. He is commendable, and it is surprising that his U.S. career wasn't more extensive.
- R.E.B., classicalcdreview, Oct., 2012