Music and Vision homepage


<<  -- 3 --  Maria Nockin    EMOTIONAL DRAMA


As with most of the solos played by members of the Bulgarian Festival Orchestra, the Act III English horn segment is capably performed with shimmering tones. Deaton seems to run a bit short on energy during his big scene in this act, but despite a few problems, he is able to put the rest of his characterization across. Pierson sounds almost as fresh in Act III as she did at the beginning. She explores the various facets of her character, allowing her Isolde to mature gradually into a totally obsessed lover who cannot go on living without the object of her affection. At the final scene, she continues to sing with thrust and she gives an emotionally intense rendition of the Liebestod [listen -- CD4 track 11, 3:57-5:20].

The Brangäne, Gwendolyn Jones, is a dramatic mezzo-soprano with a bright voice and well projected tones that ride easily over the large orchestra. David Malis proves to be a fine Kurvenal who sings with dark tonal colors and excellent diction. A regal King Marke, Ethan Herschenfeld expresses his sorrow in a dignified manner. His subtly colored bass-baritone is firm and he sings with plaintive tones in the middle and upper registers but has some difficulty reaching the lowest notes required by this role. Tenor Timothy Jon Sarris is a lyrical Young Sailor (Seemann), a strong Melot and a moving Shepherd (Hirt), while baritone Peter Yanakov is an unwavering Helmsman (Steuermann).

Glen Cortese conducts with excellent control, keeping all the parts of this complex score well synchronized, despite an occasional muddy string passage. Although he has a full sized orchestra at his command, he never overpowers the singers. This recording is sensitively engineered and it exudes the energy that can only be gathered at a live performance. Many of the older versions have quieter backgrounds but they do not give you the feeling of being present in the theater the way these CDs do. As you listen to this rendition you feel you are sitting in the tenth row center, absorbing a complete performance of Wagner's glorious music.

Copyright © 13 March 2005 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA


Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

Ti-261 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE (4 CDs) 63'09"/60'18"/30'17"/72'33" - TT 226' 2004 Titanic Records

Marc Deaton, Tristan; Susan Marie Pierson, Isolde; Gwendolyn Jones, Brangäne; David Malis, Kurwenal; Ethan Herschenfeld, König Marke; Timothy Jon Sarris, Seemann/Melot/Ein Hirt; Peter Yanakov, Ein Steuermann; Bulgarian Festival Orchestra and Chorus; Glen Cortese, conductor

Richard Wagner (1813-1883): Tristan und Isolde - music drama in 3 acts (1865)


 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Haskell Small >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.