Joseph Rosenstock
New York Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra
1 February 1964
Metropolitan Opera New York
Recording Type
  live  studio
  live compilation  live and studio
Heinrich der VoglerErnst Wiemann
LohengrinSándor Kónya
Elsa von BrabantRégine Crespin
Friedrich von TelramundWalter Cassel
OrtrudNell Rankin
Der Heerrufer des KönigsCalvin Marsh
Vier brabantische EdleWilliam Stanz
Arnold Kirschberg
John Trehy
Vladimir Chistiakov
New York Times

The Metropolitan Opera brought back its production of “Lohengrin.”; after a season’s absence, at yesterday’s matinee.

Although there was only one element of novelty in it—the first appearance here of Regine Crespin in the role of Elsa—the Wagner opera was given with such smoothness, vitality and general satisfactoriness that it held the attention throughout its long course.

Joseph Rosenstock Was the conducdor, instilling the score with both dignity and miomen­tum and getting from the mu­sicians in the pit performances that glowed and from those on­stage a lot of fanfares that crackled smartly.

Among the singers it was Sandor Konya’s portrayal of the title role that stood out. This was said to be the tenor’s 197th appearance in the part since he first sang it at Bay­reuth in the slummer of 1958. It is easy to understand why he is in demand. He has a ring­ing voice that can sound heroic or lyrical. It can even, as in the beginning of “ Mein lieber Schwan!”;, sound exquisite. Add to this vocalism sound musician­ship, a handsome appearance and a discriminating use of 7esture to round off Mr. Kon­ya’s attributes.

Miss Crespin’s Elsa was char­acteristic of this fine French soprano. At certain volumes and pitches. her voice got an edge; in soft passages it was lovely. and at its strongest developed a full brilliance that dominated the ensemble. But always the soprano’s sensitive phrasing, her molding of words and tones to express emotion, helped the listener to ignore vocal flaws. Her Elsa was often touching musically, and in bearing main­a kind of sorrowful dig­nity.

There were fine dramatic con­tributions from Nell Rankin, who sang more smoothly than usual as Ortrud, and from Wal­ter Cassel as Telramurd. The baritone’s voice seems to grow in size and richness, to comple­mment the increasing depth of his characterizations.

Ernst Wiemann’s voice was a little short at both ends for King Henry’s music, but it otherwise sounded effective. His thoughtful performance kept the part from seeming like a stick. LUnfortunately, he and the previously mentioned principals nmadie a hash out of the brief cappella quintet in the first act.

Calvin Marsh had the sten­torian tones to do justice to the Herald’s pronouncements, and the staging by Nathaniel Mer­rill made the most of the opera’s pageantry without trip­ping over its feet.


User Rating
Media Type/Label
Gala, OOA, TOL, Fiori, HO, PO
Technical Specifications
356 kbit/s VBR, 44.1 kHz, 462 MByte (flac)
Matinee broadcast
A production by Samuel Thewman (1921)