Tristan und Isolde

Erich Leinsdorf
New York Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra
30 January 1974
Metropolitan Opera New York
Recording Type
  live  studio
  live compilation  live and studio
TristanJon Vickers
IsoldeBirgit Nilsson
BrangäneMichèle Vilma
KurwenalWilliam Dooley
König MarkePaul Plishka
MelotWilliam Lewis
Ein junger SeemannRaymond Gibbs
Ein HirtNico Castel
SteuermannLouis Sgarro

On January 30 came one of those red-letter nights which future students of the Met annals will light upon, for it was the ‘summit’ Tristan of our age, with Nilsson and Vickers together at last. The tenor has sung this role sparingly, first in Buenos Aires, later in Salzburg and only once before with Nilsson (at Orange, in the open air, last summer). Nilsson, who has commanded the part of Isolde all over the world for nearly two decades, at last found a fully worthy partner, a tenor with the metal, the manliness, the dramatic insight and the musicality to do justice to this music. Vickers is such a man. There was valour where it was called-for, passion in the love duet — and the long-breathed mezza voce lines ran with hallowed gleam through the orchestral web. Nilsson, she of the rocklike dependability and the limitless vocal resource, was her irreplaceable self: nothing more need be said.

Paul Plishka offered a King Mark of outstanding nobility and sonority; we pass charitably over the sub-standard Brangaene of a French mezzo, Michele Vilma, making her house debut. Leinsdorf was as before, a coiled spring under immaculate control.

ROGER C. DETTMER | June 1974

User Rating
Media Type/Label
ERR 141
OOA, TOL, LyR, Premiere, PO
Technical Specifications
320 kbit/s CBR, 44.1 kHz, 473 MByte (MP3)
This performance was not broadcasted
A production by August Everding (1971)
There are cuts in this performance: in Act 2, Scene 2, from “Dem Tage! Dem Tage!” (Tristan) to “dass nachtsichtig mein Auge wahres zu sehen tauge” (Tristan); in Act 3, Scene 1, from”Isolde noch im Reich der Sonne!” (Tristan) to “die selbst Nachts von ihr mich scheuchte?” (Tristan), and from “Der Trank! Der Trank! Der furchtbarer Trank!” (Tristan) to “den Wonne schlürfend je ich genossen” (Tristan). [Jonathan Brown]