Glyndebourne's celebrated production of Nikolaus Lehnhoff's Tristan und Isolde is a supremely intelligent achievement; gravely beautiful, haunting and meditative, it is deeply reflective rather than visceral, fortified by Roland Aeschlimann's stunningly effective set, a womb-like space through which the protagonists move like gods. Conductor Jiří Bělohlávek mirrors Lehnhoff's approach in his sophisticated plumbing of the score's depths, with every shift in texture carefully laid bare by an inspired London Philharmonic Orchestra. Nina Stemme's Isolde and Robert Gambill's Tristan, both gloriously lyrical, are matched by superb performances from René Pape as the betrayed and vulnerable King Marke and Bo Skovhus as Kurwenal, deeply touching in his helpless devotion to Tristan. This High Definition recording of a production of uncommon intimacy reveals the opera's music and drama in a new light.
With Tristan und Isolde La Scala opened its 07/08 new in a new production staged by Patrice Chéreau. In this collaboration Daniel Barenboim and Patrice Chéreau (of whom Daniel Barenboim said: "In Chereau, I found my ideal partner“) fulfil a Wagnerian dream they had been cherishing since 1980. The opera hadn’t been staged at La Scala for over 30 years and was a triumph with over 20 minutes of applause.
This production of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” was recorded during the Deutsche Oper Berlin’s great tour to Japan in 1993. Directed by Götz Friedrich and conducted by Jiří Kout, this interpretation of the adulterous love between the Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish princess Isolde was a great success. Wagner’s composition of “Tristan und Isolde” was inspired by his love affair with Mathilde Wesendonck and the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer.
‘Peter Schneider conducted with real feeling for the score and the prelude to the first act stole upon the ear with the magic of Bayreuth’s amazing acoustics. Robert Dean Smith is now a fine Tristan with a really beautiful voice. …Robert Holl made a moving King Marke, his magnificent bass nobly used. Some of the most beautiful singing came from Clemens Bieber's Young Seaman at the beginning.’ (The Stage)
Tenor Ben Heppner and soprano Jane Eaglen perform two of opera's most demanding roles in a 1999 production of “Tristan und Isolde,” Richard Wagner's titanic tragedy. Based on a Celtic myth, the 1865 drama charts the passions of the Irish queen Isolde and the Cornish knight Tristan. He's transporting her, against her will, to marry his uncle, King Marke (bass Rene Pape), but the two drink a potion that will ensure both their undying love for each other–-and their deaths. James Levine conducts the Met Orchestra.
"…Thanks to Marek Janowski's inspiring direction, the singers' commitment and the peerless sound quality, this recording sets a new benchmark for Tristan und Isolde in the 21st century and undoubtedly it is one that all Wagnerites will wish to investigate. Unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended." ~SA-CD.net
The popular Prelude & the so-called Liebestod (“Mild und Leise”) from Richard Wagner’s music drama Tristan und Isolde are the most familiar parts orchestras play, most often in the 1859 concert arrangement by Wagner. (He preferred that the term Liebestod be applied to the Prelude only, & originally titled his concert version Liebestod und Verklärung, or “Love-death & Transfiguration.”) The featured work of this Chandos SACD is the 1994 suite arranged by Henk de Vlieger, fashioned from key parts of the entire opera, not just the beginning & end. Tristan und Isolde: An Orchestral Passion is a lengthy tone poem that includes key passages, in much the same manner as de Vlieger’s other symphonic syntheses on Der Ring des Nibelungen, Parsifal, & Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.