Tristan und Isolde

Carlos Kleiber
Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala Milano
12 April 1978
Teatro alla Scala Milano
Recording Type
  live   studio
  live compilation   live and studio
Tristan Spas Wenkoff
Isolde Catarina Ligendza
Brangäne Ruža Baldani
Kurwenal Siegmund Nimsgern
König Marke Kurt Moll
Melot Giampaolo Corradi
Ein junger Seemann Walter Gullino
Ein Hirt Piero de Palma
Steuermann Giovanni Foiani

Listening to this amazing live 1978 Tristan und Isolde from La Scala conjures up an image of Wagner possessed at the piano, feverishly scribbling notes on manuscript paper as his raving harmonic genius foams at the mouth. The composer would have turned cartwheels had he heard a pair of lovers so vocally secure and dramatically impassioned as Catarina Ligenda and Spas Wenkoff are here. Kurt Moll’s imposing, tragic King Marke nearly steals the show in Act Two: no small feat after the randiest Love Duet you’ve heard in a long time! The supporting singers are almost as good. Ruza Baldani weaves Brangäne’s warning signals in and out of the orchestra’s floating textures, and Siegmund Nimsgern is an able bodied, though dry voiced Kurnewal. Giampaolo Corradi makes a strong impression with Melot’s few, crucial lines. Carlos Kleiber is on mesmerizing form in the pit. He galvanizes his orchestra to play beyond their capabilities with crackling urgency, theatrical drive, and the kind of full-bodied, whiplash sonorities that Toscanini favored. The recorded sound is not bad for a broadcast tape, although the mike placement favors the orchestra over the singers. This is by far the best of Kleiber’s three live Tristans, complementing, and often surpassing his Dresden studio version on DG. No texts are included.

Artistic Quality: 10
Sound Quality: 6

Jed Distler

User Rating
Media Type/Label
Myto, PO
Technical Specifications
320 kbit/s CBR, 44.1 kHz, 512 MByte (MP3)
A production by Wolfgang Wagner (1978)