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The view from Kareol

kleiber_thumbPoet of the podium Carlos Kleiber leads the final minutes of Tristan und Isolde from the mystic abyss of Bayreuth, circa 1975.

The Isolde is Catarina Ligendza, as heard in the performance shared in last season of Unnatural Acts of Opera. Per our comely Camille, a Kleiber Bayreuth Tristan is one of the complete operas included in the very reasonably priced compendium Beyond the Ring: The Best of Wagner [Box Set].

30 comments

  • Harry says:

    Vicar: ‘Losing the greatest conductor of a time….with Goodall???!!!’ One would not be surprised if his ghost is still in some opera pit somewhere, trying to finish off a performance he started decades ago, …..so slow his tempos. Goodall would have to be the greatest Wagner time straggler to ever cross a finale line, who ever lived. Take his EMI live recorded Sadlers Wells Gotterdammerung in (Vnglish!) 5 and a quarter hours in actual performance time? At times, you can hear the dragged out tempos are: what are worrying the singers, not the music.Goodall of course would call it ; his sense of profundity. Adds strength to his personal reputation of also being ‘a slow learner’….regarding rehearsal time schedules.

  • Scott Rose says:

    Ligendza portrays Chrysothemis in Goetz Friedrich’s film of Elektra, which I discuss in my December Opera News article about Elektra.

  • Cassandra says:

    God, to sing for a conductor like that. They barely exist these days.

    Holding down the orchestra (which plays like a dream) in Bayreuth? Lovely.

  • Byrnham Woode says:

    As mentioned, Kleiber led TRISTAN at Bayreuth from 1974 to 1977, always with Ligendza. The 1976 season had Spas Wenkoff as Tristan and a broadcast was released by Legendary on LP. I think I saw that edition on CD ONCE, and alas I don’t remember where or when. I have the LP set.

    It’s wonderful, if a faster traversal of this great score than many of us are used to. In addition to the aforementioned unhappy couple we have Minton, McIntyre, Ridderbusch and Heinz Zednik as both the Sailor and the Sheperd. Heribert Steinbach has a decent heldentenorish sound as Melot. Wenkoff should be better remembered. He was a fine artist for this repertory.

    Ligendza was a feature at Bayreuth from 1971. Her Brünnhilde’s are decent, but she only performed the RING for 3 seasons, under the flat leadership of Horst Stein. There are multiple broadcasts to be had. In 1974 she switched over to the new staging of TRISTAN under Kleiber. She left Bayreuth after the late ’70s, but returned for two seasons around 1986. This was for more of Isolde, this time under Barenboim.

  • kashania says:

    Is no one going to mention how hot Kleiber looks in this video? :)

  • CarlottaBorromeo says:

    And of course there’s the eternal truth of Bayreuth -- if the conductor stands up he disappears off the top of the monitors (unless he’s a midget -- in which case he can’t be seen behind the stand when he’s sitting down!)