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I’ve just finished listening to a truly breathtaking T & I from Bayreuth, 30 July 1976. One of the best things I have heard in many a long day. Carlos Kleiber conducts a truly memorable performance. His Act 3 prelude is one of the most intense things I have experienced in many years of listening to T & I. The two principals, Ligendza and Wenkoff, are never less than excellent and the real revelation for me is the Tristan of Spas Wenkoff. His singing throughout is exemplary but his Act 3 work is just simply astonishing. He conjures up a phenomenally beautiful plangent quality that just suits Act 3 to a T. To my ears I would say that he is up there with the best of the mid twentieth century Tristans, easily rivalling Vickers, Suthaus, Kollo, Seiffert et al.

Caterina Ligendza has a lighter voice than some Isoldes but is no less effective and is a more than adequate foil for Wenkoff’s glorious Tristan. The Act 2 duets are a joy and she sings a fine liebestod aided in no small way by Kleiber’s wonderful orchestral accompaniment. Kleiber’s handling of the whole opera is nothing short of miraculous and it will be a long time before the memory of this performance fades from my mind.

In short, if you love Tristan und Isolde and haven’t heard this performance, you really ought to remedy that omission. You will not be disappointed.
 

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I've just finished listening to a truly breathtaking T & I from Bayreuth, 30 July 1976. One of the best things I have heard in many a long day. Carlos Kleiber conducts a truly memorable performance. His Act 3 prelude is one of the most intense things I have experienced in many years of listening to T & I. The two principals, Ligendza and Wenkoff, are never less than excellent and the real revelation for me is the Tristan of Spas Wenkoff. His singing throughout is exemplary but his Act 3 work is just simply astonishing. He conjures up a phenomenally beautiful plangent quality that just suits Act 3 to a T. To my ears I would say that he is up there with the best of the mid twentieth century Tristans, easily rivalling Vickers, Suthaus, Kollo, Seiffert et al.

Caterina Ligendza has a lighter voice than some Isoldes but is no less effective and is a more than adequate foil for Wenkoff's glorious Tristan. The Act 2 duets are a joy and she sings a fine liebestod aided in no small way by Kleiber's wonderful orchestral accompaniment. Kleiber's handling of the whole opera is nothing short of miraculous and it will be a long time before the memory of this performance fades from my mind.

In short, if you love Tristan und Isolde and haven't heard this performance, you really ought to remedy that omission. You will not be disappointed.
I agree with you - this is the best of Kleiber's live Tristans, both in terms of performance and sonics. Which is why I find it mystifying that it seems to be the only one that hasn't been issued on CD by any of the usual suspects.
 

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I agree with you - this is the best of Kleiber's live Tristans, both in terms of performance and sonics. Which is why I find it mystifying that it seems to be the only one that hasn't been issued on CD by any of the usual suspects.
I also cast my vote for this as one of my favorite Tristan recordings; maybe top of the list. And my no-frills Opera Depot CD serves me just fine in lieu of a more prestigious release.
 

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I've just finished listening to a truly breathtaking T & I from Bayreuth, 30 July 1976. One of the best things I have heard in many a long day. Carlos Kleiber conducts a truly memorable performance. His Act 3 prelude is one of the most intense things I have experienced in many years of listening to T & I. The two principals, Ligendza and Wenkoff, are never less than excellent and the real revelation for me is the Tristan of Spas Wenkoff. His singing throughout is exemplary but his Act 3 work is just simply astonishing. He conjures up a phenomenally beautiful plangent quality that just suits Act 3 to a T. To my ears I would say that he is up there with the best of the mid twentieth century Tristans, easily rivalling Vickers, Suthaus, Kollo, Seiffert et al.

Caterina Ligendza has a lighter voice than some Isoldes but is no less effective and is a more than adequate foil for Wenkoff's glorious Tristan. The Act 2 duets are a joy and she sings a fine liebestod aided in no small way by Kleiber's wonderful orchestral accompaniment. Kleiber's handling of the whole opera is nothing short of miraculous and it will be a long time before the memory of this performance fades from my mind.

In short, if you love Tristan und Isolde and haven't heard this performance, you really ought to remedy that omission. You will not be disappointed.
Wow! You've piqued my interest in this recording. I'll have to check it out.
 
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