OP2824. TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Live Performance, 20 July, 1952, w.Kleiber Cond. Bayerischen Staatsoper Ensemble; Gunther Treptow, Helena Braun, Margarete Klose, Ferdinand Frantz, Rudolf Grossmann, Paul Kuën, etc. (Italy) 3-Myto 032.H075. Long out-of-print, final copies! - 8014399500753
“Erich Kleiber decided to become a conductor while still a student at the Prague Conservatory after hearing Gustav Mahler conducting his Sixth Symphony. As choirmaster at the German Theater in Prague, he made his conducting début in 1911 directing the music for a stage comedy. A composer in his student years, his works include violin and piano concertos, orchestral and chamber works.
Following a series of appointments as conductor at Darmstadt, Barmen-Eberfeld, Düsseldorf, and Mannheim, he became general music director of the Berlin State Opera in 1923. In addition to the mainstream repertory, Kleiber introduced unfamiliar works such as Schönberg's PIERROT LUNAIRE, Janácek's JENUFA, Bittner's DAS ROSENGÄRTLEIN, and, after an astounding 132 rehearsals, gave the first U.S. performance of Berg's WOZZECK in 1924. His U.S. début as an orchestral conductor was with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1930.
As conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and a friend of Alban Berg, Kleiber was planning a Berlin performance of the five symphonic interludes from Berg's opera LULU, but, incensed by the Nazi regime's hostility to atonal music and growing political interference in his choice of programs, he resigned his Berlin post in 1934, left Germany, and appeared as guest conductor in London, Prague, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, and Salzburg. In 1939, Kleiber took up residence in Buenos Aires and became an Argentine citizen. He conducted opera at the Teatro Colón, trained the Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra and toured extensively in South America with various orchestras. From 1943 he was with the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra, leaving for Europe in 1948.
In postwar Europe, Kleiber was ready to return to his roots. In 1951, he accepted the position of conductor at the Berlin State Opera, then located in the Communist sector of East Berlin, and from 1950 to 1953 conducted at London's Covent Garden opera house. Once again, however, he became dissatisfied with the atmosphere of repression and resigned his Berlin post in 1955. Before his relatively early death, he appeared as guest conductor of orchestras in London, Vienna, Cologne, Stuttgart, and other European centers.
Despite his early enthusiasm for twentieth century music, Kleiber is best remembered for minutely rehearsed and finely balanced interpretations of Beethoven, Mahler, and Bruckner. Even when in Berlin, where much of the Classical and Romantic repertory was familiar to the performers, he usually called five rehearsals before a concert. A perfectionist by nature, he insisted on complete faithfulness to the score. In his words, ‘[t]here are only two enemies of good performance: one is routine and the other improvisation’.
After his death, a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra became available on CD, as did the ROSENKAVALIER he recorded in 1954.”
- Roy Brewer, allmusic.com
“Helena Braun studied in Düsseldorf and Cologne as a contralto. From 1933 onwards she switched to high dramatic soprano roles. Her début was in 1928 at the Stadttheater Koblenz. She sang at Bielefeld, 1930-1931; Wuppertal, 1932; Wiesbaden, 1933-1940; Munich State Opera, 1940; Vienna State Opera, 1939-1949; Waldfestspiele Zoppot, 1939 and 1941; Salzburg Festival, 1941-1942; Guest appearances at the State operas of Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart as well as at La Scala, Covent Garden, Paris Opéra, Rome, Monte Carlo and the Met. Braun was married to Ferdinand Frantz.
Günther Treptow began his vocal studies at the Berlin Musikhochschule, and later in Milan with Giovanni Scarmeo. Treptow was a member of the SA and Nazi Party (membership #38 579) until the discovery in 1934 of his mother's Jewish heritage. He was banned from performing until being granted special permission to do so from Josef Goebbels on 6 June, 1935. He made his stage début in Berlin, as the Italian singer in DER ROSENKAVALIER in 1936. He sang at the Vienna Volksoper in 1938, as Florestan in FIDELIO. He appeared at the Zopot Festival in 1939, in the title role of TANNHÄUSER. He made his début at the Munich State Opera in 1940, the Vienna State Opera in 1947, and the Bayreuth Festival in 1951.
He quickly established himself as one of the leading heldentenors of his generation, in roles such as Siegmund in DIE WALKÜRE, Siegfried in SIEGFRIED and GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, and Tristan. Besides Wagner, he also sang such roles as Max in DER FREISCHÜTZ, Steva in JENUFA, Canio in PAGLIACCI, and the title role in OTELLO.
On the international scene, he made guest appearances at La Scala in Milan, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Royal Opera House in London, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, also appearing in Leningrad and Moscow. He sang at the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 1961 until his retirement in 1972.”
- Z. D. Akron