OP0026. TRISTAN UND ISOLDE – Excerpts, Live Performances, 3 & 11 March, 1933, w.Bodanzky Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Frida Leider, Lauritz Melchior, Maria Olszewska, Friedrich Schorr, Gustav Schützendorf, Ludwig Hofmann, Arnold Gabor, Hans Clemens, etc. (Germany) FLG 11031933. The transfers by Christian Zwarg feature sound quality which is primitive, but remarkably clear. Final copies of an extremely Limited Edition.
“Leider was in no way inferior to her illustrious Norwegian counterpart, and in some ways she was perhaps an even greater singer. To Flagstad’s vocal power and brilliant high notes Leider added a beautiful, warm timbre that thrills with its sound….What a splendid Isolde she was. In addition to the unforgettably beautiful timbre, Leider was also a very skilled vocal actress. Her bitterness in the Narrative and Curse is dramatized through inflection and the addition of hardness to her tone. In the ‘Liebesnacht’, Leider and Melchior sing with ecstatic beauty, matching dynamic shading and thrilling passion. I have not heard, on records or in the opera house, a more thrilling version, and to finally have it placed in the context of something resembling the complete opera is enormously gratifying. The radiant beauty of Leider’s ‘Liebestod’ will long stay in the memory.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE
“It is Leider who makes the most vivid impression in these excerpts. One is taken by the singular beauty of the voice itself, the melding of noble tone with affective coloration; the two are almost inseparably bound together, the coloration not merely appliquéd for certain effects or at emotive words. In these live performances, Leider’s voice…radiates greater emotional conviction than in many of her admirable recordings….She doesn’t shy from deploying her full, dark sound at the climaxes, but over all she wafts a more fragile, feminine tone.”
- Paul Jackson, SATURDAY AFTERNOONS AT THE OLD MET, pp.35-36