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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wagner took a break from the Ring after Act 2 of Siegfried to write "easier to perform" music dramas. :)
His infatuation with Mathilde Wesendonck, poet and author, is said to have fueled this tragic love story.

So much has been written about this work I won't even attempt to state it all here.
Let us just say it was revolutionary.
Beautiful, spiritual, lewd, spellbinding are just a few descriptions I've read.
It greatly influenced all music after it.

It took me awhile to love this work and it's probably not for beginner Wagner listeners, but once you crack it
it's very moving.
I frequently shed a tear when the last notes fade away.

So what's your pick for this mesmerizing masterpiece?
 
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52 was a great year for Tristans, Furtwangler Pristine XR and Karajan Bayreuth Orfeo.....
Furtwangler gets studio recording and Flagstadt still in great voice with a wealth of experience, magical things happen here with the synthesis of sound and vocal art........

52 Karajan goes out in a blaze of glory final season at Bayreuth with searing performance by Modl & Vinay, not your father's HVK an all out assault to take the wagner throne, not to be missed wagner



76 Kleiber Bayreuth another great one only recently discovered from members post, very good live sound, a version not widely known (but should be) shame we do not have more wagner from Kleiber

 

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Because of the gorgeousness of the score I don't mind a conductor indulging a little in pure sensuality when it comes to this opera, but for my taste Bernstein practically wallows in it and doesn't keep the pace where it needs to be to keep the dramatic temperature turned up like my favorite versions do. Unfortunately his pair of lovers are also one of my least favorite in record. The Furtwangler is still the most effective and all-encompassing to my mind.
 

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Because of the gorgeousness of the score I don't mind a conductor indulging a little in pure sensuality when it comes to this opera, but for my taste Bernstein practically wallows in it and doesn't keep the pace where it needs to be to keep the dramatic temperature turned up like my favorite versions do. Unfortunately his pair of lovers are also one of my least favorite in record. The Furtwangler is still the most effective and all-encompassing to my mind.
Agree with every sentence here. I love listening to bits and pieces of the Bernstein but it doesn't hang together as a whole.

It's not a unique opinion but for me, Furtwangler and Bohm are unmatched here, especially Furtwangler in Act 2 and Bohm in the outer acts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)


No one comes close to Furtwangler for me.
His conducting seems to make time stand still.
Wish he'd have recorded Parsifal.





I also enjoy these 2. The Kleiber is a more lyrical approach but done beautifully.
The Bohm very well recorded and dramatic.

And they both have all 3 acts on their own discs which I LOVE. :)
 

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Because of the gorgeousness of the score I don't mind a conductor indulging a little in pure sensuality when it comes to this opera, but for my taste Bernstein practically wallows in it and doesn't keep the pace where it needs to be to keep the dramatic temperature turned up like my favorite versions do. Unfortunately his pair of lovers are also one of my least favorite in record.
And Bernstein seems bent on pretending that they're not there at all....perhaps just as well.
 

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I really have trouble with this opera. Where the Ring operas suite me just fine in length, this one feels too long. :(
I won't say I dislike it, and sometimes I can say I enjoy it but it always feels like such an effort is expended.

Nevertheless I have multiple versions, in search of a satisfying one. Barenboim has my favorite first act and Isolde (Waultraude Meier) and Bohm I think my favorite overall.
 

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52 was a great year for Tristans, Furtwangler Pristine XR and Karajan Bayreuth Orfeo.....
Furtwangler gets studio recording and Flagstadt still in great voice with a wealth of experience, magical things happen here with the synthesis of sound and vocal art........

52 Karajan goes out in a blaze of glory final season at Bayreuth with searing performance by Modl & Vinay, not your father's HVK an all out assault to take the wagner throne, not to be missed wagner



76 Kleiber Bayreuth another great one only recently discovered from members post, very good live sound, a version not widely known (but should be) shame we do not have more wagner from Kleiber

Those are at the top of my Tristan list, too, supplemented by the various Bayreuth recordings with Boehm, Nilsson, and Windgassen, the late 90's Met broadcast with Heppner, and Karajan's stereo recording, for the presence of Vickers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I really have trouble with this opera. Where the Ring operas suite me just fine in length, this one feels too long. :(
I won't say I dislike it, and sometimes I can say I enjoy it but it always feels like such an effort is expended.

Nevertheless I have multiple versions, in search of a satisfying one. Barenboim has my favorite first act and Isolde (Waultraude Meier) and Bohm I think my favorite overall.
Try assimilating 1 act at a time.
Listen for the interaction of what's being sung and the orchestra.
Listen for the various themes as they weave throughout.
Don't worry about it, it will come.
That helped me.:)
 

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No one comes close to Furtwangler for me.
His conducting seems to make time stand still.
Wish he'd have recorded Parsifal.





I also enjoy these 2. The Kleiber is a more lyrical approach but done beautifully.
The Bohm very well recorded and dramatic.

And they both have all 3 acts on their own discs which I LOVE. :)
Fine recordings, but only Furtwangler fully inhabits Wagner's "Wunderreich der Nacht." The Romantic dream he and Flagstad make of the second act is unapproached by others. But I do wish that we had a recording under Victor de Sabata, a truly great opera conductor who gave us the best of all Toscas. Snippets from a 1930 Tristan at La Scala with an excellent Italian cast (singing in Italian, of course) are searingly intense and heartbreaking, infusing the music with a frank emotionality that seems almost a thing of the past.

P.S. The Naxos cover art is criminal.
 

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The (Carlos) Kleiber studio recording was my first ever Tristan, and Margaret Price's "Mild und Leise" is still my go-to by a country mile. Have also added the Karajan (Vickers), Furtwängler (52), and Böhm (Bayreuth) ... so it seems I've come to the conclusion arrived at by most others. I've never been particularly interested in adding anything new to this list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've listened to the Karajan on EMI and the fiddling with the knobs and odd balances ruin it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·


My next Tristan.
I like Knappy and it gets great reviews. :)
 

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I really have trouble with this opera. Where the Ring operas suite me just fine in length, this one feels too long. :(
I won't say I dislike it, and sometimes I can say I enjoy it but it always feels like such an effort is expended.

Nevertheless I have multiple versions, in search of a satisfying one. Barenboim has my favorite first act and Isolde (Waultraude Meier) and Bohm I think my favorite overall.
I love Die Walküre and Götterdämmerung, but Tristan's an ordeal.
 

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The (Carlos) Kleiber studio recording was my first ever Tristan, and Margaret Price's "Mild und Leise" is still my go-to by a country mile. Have also added the Karajan (Vickers), Furtwängler (52), and Böhm (Bayreuth) ... so it seems I've come to the conclusion arrived at by most others. I've never been particularly interested in adding anything new to this list.
Yeah, if they were the only four I had I would be well satisfied.
 
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