Tristan und Isolde

Wilhelm Furtwängler
Männerchor der Staatsoper Berlin
Staatskapelle Berlin
3 October 1947
Admiralspalast Berlin
Recording Type
  live  studio
  live compilation  live and studio
TristanLudwig Suthaus
IsoldeErna Schlüter
BrangäneMargarete Klose
KurwenalJaro Prohaska
König MarkeGottlob Frick
MelotKurt Rehm
Ein junger Seemann[Paul Schmidtmann]
Ein HirtGerhard Witting
SteuermannHasso Eschert

German soprano Erna Schlüter (1904-1969) began her career singing mezzo roles (Delilah, Santuzza, Fricka, the Marschallin), then Verdi and Puccini soprano roles, and turned to dramatic soprano roles including Brünnhilde, Isolde and Elektra. Schlüter was a favorite with leading conductors including Bruno Walter, Sir Thomas Beechm and Wilhelm Furtwängler. She made relatively few recordings but they include two of Elektra, one a studio recording made in Hamburg in 1944 conducted by Eugen Jochum, the other a 1947 BBC broadcast directed by Beecham. On this welcome Andromeda set we hear her as Isolde in a Berlin State Opera Tristan performance 3 10,1947, conducted by Furtwängler. Unfortunately only acts 2 and 3 are available, but they are magnificent. Furtwängler is acknowledged as possibly the finest conductor of this music; his 1951 EM recording is definitive, particularly when heard in Pristine’s outstanding remastering. Schlüter is an ideal Isolde, more feminine than most, and she is fearless on those top notes. Her Tristan, Ludwig Suthaus, is perfect; he was at his peak of performance, and the rest of the cast also is first-rate. The real star here is the conductor; you will not hear a more impassioned presentation of this music. Audio is excellent for its time. No texts, virtually no documentation, but this is a recording all lovers of this opera should investigate. This is a budget reissue.

User Rating
Media Type/Label
Fonit Cetra FE 43
Fonit Cetra, Archipel, Fono Team, Radio Years, Dante, Andromeda, Arkadia, Memories, OOA
Technical Specifications
482 kbit/s VBR, 44.1 kHz, 480 MByte (flac)
Act one is missing.
A production by Frida Leider (premiere)
The first opera performance of Wilhelm Furtwängler after the war. Acts 2 and 3 complete, with a cut in the performance of Scene 2 of Act 2 of the lines from “Dem Tage! Dem Tage! Dem tükischen Tage” (Tristan) to “dass nachtsichtig mein Auge wahres zu sehen tauge” (Tristan). [Jonathan Brown]