Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Richard Wagner, Regina Resnik, Fritz Uhl|
Tristan Und Isolde
Listen to Samples
The Greatest Tristan and Isolde Of Them All
Rudy Avila | Lennox, Ca United States | 10/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mirror Mirror On The Wall, who's the greatest Isolde of them all ? The answer would have to be Birgit Nilsson on this recording from Decca/London dating from 1960. There is another edition of this same reissued recording with a fire-lit torch on the cover, though it's this same exact recording. George Solti conducts with all the power of his prime and delivers a compelling score. Birgit Nilsson's voice is a blaze of glory, with beauty and above all grandeur in this role which she herself felt she could identify with as a Swedish/Nordic descendant. Tenor Fritz Uhrl is a lesser known tenor in this role as he is overshadowed by the more famous portrayal of Jon Vickers and Wolfgang Windgassen. Regina Resnik performs a noble and beautifully sung Bragane. Wagner's music for this opera sounds effectively mystical, passionate, erotic and spiritual. You are better off getting this recording than any other starring Birgit Nilsson for she is captured in her glorious prime in this recording. As Isolde, note how she is able to transition from a romanticized princess in love in the Love Duet, to a fiery and temperamental woman in her "Invective" Aria and to one of spiritual and climatic transformation in the Liebestod. The only complaint, and it is one that many have noted, is that Birgit Nilsson's voice is so impossibly huge and grand that she can't handle the pianissimi or softer passages that are part of Isolde's character. In this department, her predecessor Kirsten Flagstad who retired from the opera scene in 1951, surpassed her. In the recording with Flagstad which is now commercially available, she proves that she has both the power and softness in her voice. The softer notes should be caressed and not shouted in such appropriate arias as the celestial Liebestod finale. While Nilsson attempts, especially here, to sing with softer volume, she is a romantic storm that only quiets down in the last line "Lust" as the music reaches a diminuendo. Nevertheless, this is the Tristan and Isolde that put Birgit Nilsson on the map and a fine recording with supreme sound and electrifying music. The strength in this recording lies in the talents behind it. Uhrl is a fine, dramatic and yet elegant Tristan, while Regina Resnik is a womanly, equally noble and dramatic Bragane. This is a must have for fans of Birgit Nilsson. This far outshines the later 1966 edition with Karl Bohm in which she sang opposite Wolfgang Windgassen (who was notorious for the Bayreuth "bark" in his voice) and the latter 70's performances with Jon Vickers. By then Birgit Nilsson was only a shadow of her former self, and the opposite happened. In the Vickers/Nilsson performances her powerful high notes had decreased in volume and her softer passages were the strength. Oh, well no one is perfect."
My favorite Tristan und Isolde
Jay Adeff | 10/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this recording against everyone's recommendations; I already own the Bohm/Nilsson/Windgassen and the Karajan/Dernesch/Vickers recordings, and I learned the opera with the old Furtwangler/Flagstad/Suthaus LP. The Bohm is frustrating because of the marginal sound and the leather-lung Windgassen, whom I really cannot stomach. The Karajan is frustrating because Dernesch was such a ridiculous choice for Isolda (she later transitioned to mezzo-soprano roles). But this recording was a very pleasant surprise. As others have stated, Nilsson is perfection in the role and Solti does a beautiful job with the music. But everyone complains about Fritz Uhl as Tristan. Well I'm here to tell you that he's actually quite good. He has a very nice, almost lyrical, voice and I'll take him over leather-lung any day.
This is my favorite Tristan und Isolde. Great singing, great conducting, great recorded sound. Highly underrated!
Birgit Nilsson's Best
Jay Adeff | 04/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No one has bothered to review this great recording so I am proud to be the first. Perhaps this studio recording, made in Vienna in 1960, under the baton of a young Georg Solti, is overshadowed by the more popular editions out there- another recording conducted by Solti made in the late 60's, Birgit Nilsson's powerful performances opposite the equally powerful Jon Vickers and of course the recording under Karl Bohm's direction. But this recording finds Nilsson at her best in 1960 voice, with freshness, vigor and enchantment. Fritz Uhl is only a serviceable Tristan, though he shinse in such moments as solo arias and his duet with Nilsson. The music is crisp, clear and masterful. Never before have I heard such a glorious interprettion of the "Liebestod" which Nilsson culminates in pianissimo that seems to sound like she'slowly fading away into death. Nilsson is the true star here, though it was a fine idea to cast Regina Resnik as Brangane. Though there are better editiosn- Jon Vickers/Nilsson being the best and the Bohm one with Windgassen and newer Isoldes have taken over- Eva Mei, Jane Eaglen and in the 80's Jessye Norman. This is a terrific tribute to the greatest Isolde of them all, the Swedish goddess that was Birgit Nilsson."