Tristan und Isolde  (Karl Elmendorff;  Nanny Larsen-Todsen, Gunnar Graarud, Anny Helm, Rudolf Bockelmann, Ivar Andresen, Joachim Sattler) (3-St Laurent Studio YSL 78-144)
Item# OP2673
$49.90
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Product Description

Tristan und Isolde  (Karl Elmendorff;  Nanny Larsen-Todsen, Gunnar Graarud, Anny Helm, Rudolf Bockelmann, Ivar Andresen, Joachim Sattler) (3-St Laurent Studio YSL 78-144)
OP2673. TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, recorded 1928, w.Karl Elmendorff Cond. Bayreuth Festival Ensemble; Nanny Larsén-Todsen, Gunnar Graarud, Anny Helm, Rudolf Bockelmann, Ivar Andrésen, Joachim Sattler, etc.; Ernest Newman's Mini-lecture on the Wagnerian motifs. (Canada) 3–St Laurent Studio YSL 78-144. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.

CRITIC REVIEW:

“When you hear this you will not believe it was recorded in August 1928 just a few years after the advent of electrical recording. Recorded in the warm acoustics of Bayreuth's Festival House, we have a near-perfect balance between singers and orchestra, with remarkable natural fidelity. Columbia had the rights to recording at Bayreuth and already had recorded excerpts from PARSIFAL in 1927, with more sessions in October 1928 to record music from Act III of the same opera. Just before the latter sessions, Columbia decided to record TRISTAN UND ISOLDE and felt it was too difficult to record during live performances so all sessions were scheduled in the summer when the Festspielhaus was not in use. During August 1928 Columbia made the recording feaured in this superb set, Acts I and II substantially complete with some cuts in Act III that apparently were standard during that era ‘in the interests of conserving the energies of singers and audience alike at the end of a long evening’. It was a total of 38 78rpm sides. As the two leading Wagnerian singers of the day, Lauritz Melchior and Frida Leider, were under contract to the rival HMV, Columbia chose other fine singers of the time headed by Norwegian tenor Gunnar Graarud (1886-1960) who just a year earlier had started his long association with Bayreuth. Swedish-born soprano Nanny Larsen-Todsen (1884-1982) made her debut in 1906 in DER FREISCHÜTZ after which she specialized in Wagnerian roles. She appeared in leading opera houses including the Met (1925-1927) where during her first year she sang in a number of performances of Brünnhilde in DIE WALKÜRE, SIEGFRIED and GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Fricka in DAS RHEINGOLD, Isolde, Kundry and a concert performance of Verdi's REQUIEM conducted by Tullio Serafin with Giovanni Martinelli as the tenor. Larsen-Todsen has a big, controlled voice and is easily able to sustain the long lines of Isolde - quite a performance indeed. Graarud apparently was in his prime and often resembles Melchior; there could be no higher praise. The remainder of the cast is uniformly strong under Karl Elmendorff's direction, orchestral playing excellent aside from some rather clumsy hunting horns in Act II.

As an appendix Ernest Newman's explanation of TRISTAN, with musical examples, which was included in the European edition of the recording. All-in-all, this is an incredible historic issue.”

- Classical CD Review