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Tristan & Isolde Box set

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Audio CD, Box set, November 14, 2000
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$33.04 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock. Sold by MEGA Media and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Disc: 1
1. Act One: Prld - LPO/Fritz Reiner
2. Act One, Scene One: Westwarts Schweift Der Blick - Kirsten Flagstad/Sabine Kalter/Roy Devereux
3. Act One, Scene Two: Frisch Weht Der Wind Der Heimath Zu - Kirsten Flagstad/Sabine Kalter/Roy Devereux/Lauritz Melchoir/Herbert Jansson
4. Act One, Scene Three: Weh! Ach Wehe! Dies Zu Dulden! - Kirsten Flagstad/Sabine Kalter
5. Act One, Scene Four: Auf! Auf! Ihr Frauen! - Kirsten Flagstad/Sabine Kalter/Herbert Jansson
6. Act One, Scene Four: Herr Tristan Trete Nah'! - Kirsten Flagstad/Sabine Kalter/Herbert Jansson
See all 7 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Act Two: Prld - LPO/Fritz Reiner
2. Act Two, Scene One: Horst Du Sie Noch? - Kirsten Flagstad/Sabine Kalter
3. Act Two, Scene Two: Isolde! - Tristan! - Geliebte! - Lauritz Melchoir/Kirsten Flagstad/Sabine Kalter
4. Act Two, Scene Two: O Sink' Hernieder, Nacht Der Liebe - Lauritz Melchoir/Kirsten Flagstad/Sabine Kalter
5. Act Two, Scene Two: Einsam Wachend In Der Nacht - Lauritz Melchoir/Kirsten Flagstad/Sabine Kalter
6. Act Two, Scene Two: Lausch', Geliebter! - Lass Mich Sterben! - Lauritz Melchoir/Kirsten Flagstad/Sabine Kalter
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Act Three: Prld - LPO/Fritz Reiner
2. Act Three, Scene One: (The Shepherd's Pipe Is Heard) - Octave Dua/Herbert Jansson/Lauritz Melchoir
3. Act Three, Scene One: Kurwenal! He! Sag', Kurwenal! - Octave Dua/Herbert Jansson/Lauritz Melchoir
4. Act Three, Scene One: Hei Nun! Wie Du Kamst? - Octave Dua/Herbert Jansson/Lauritz Melchoir
5. Act Three, Scene One: Noch Losch Das Licht Nicht Aus - Octave Dua/Herbert Jansson/Lauritz Melchoir
6. Act Three, Scene One: Noch Ist Kein Shiff Zu Sehn - Octave Dua/Herbert Jansson/Lauritz Melchoir
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: Kirsten Flagstad, Lauritz Melchior, Sabine Kalter, Chorus of the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Herbert Janssen, et al.
  • Orchestra: London Philarmonic Prchestra
  • Conductor: Fritz Reiner
  • Composer: Richard Wagner
  • Audio CD (November 14, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Naxos
  • Run Time: 210 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004YYQL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,221 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By on January 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is a live recording made by HMV at Covent Garden in 1936, and has been unavailable for far too long. This super-bargain Naxos reissue does wonders to the mediocre sound, lessening tape-hiss and lending extra clarity that does justice to the splendors of the performance. The only serious sonic drawback is that the whole thing is taped at a very low dymanic level, so it must be played at high volume to be fully appreciated. The performance, though, is in a class of its own.
Kirsten Flagstad is recorded here a year after she hit the international scene, and it is an overwhelming experience to hear her radiant voice in its prime. By the time she recorded Isolde for Furtwängler in 1952, she was fifty-seven, and past her prime: her voice had acquired a rather harsh, mettalic edge, and the higher notes came with effort. Here, though, she is truly great: as with the greatest singers, her voice is solid at the core but has a soft-toned, beautiful edge. The color of the voice is quite extraordinary, but probably the most overwhelming thing about Flagstad's voice is its security and effortlessness. She makes herself clearly heard over one hundred instrumentalists, and does it in a way that makes falling off a log seem difficult in comparison. As to her acting skills - I can't understand people's criticisms. Surely it makes more sense to portray Isolde as a dark, brooding princess in Act I than portray her as a psychotic sorceress out for revenge! All the emotion is there in the music and in her voice: she doesn't have to exaggerate or go over the top.
As difficult a role as Isolde is, Tristan is probably even more challenging. But here, Tristan is sung by Lauritz Melchior, the greatest Heldentenor who ever lived.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Erik Aleksander Moe on March 28, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Before buying this recording, I only had the EMI version with Furtwaengler and Suthaus that had Flagstad before. I thought she was brilliant in that recording. Hearing her again here in a performace from 18th May 1936 in Covent Garden in London left me stunned. I had been wanting this performance for quite some time now ..., but then I heard that Naxos Historical was going to release it. So I waited. And the wait definitely worth it.
Having also heard Melchior in the role of Tristan in the performance from 1943, also released by Naxos Historical, and I was thrilled that he was even better here, 7 years earlier.
What put me off on the EMI recording were the Brangaene and Marke. I am by no means a fan of Josef Greindl and found his Marke too gritty (I think Greindl is always too gritty). The mezzo who sang Brangaene (I forgot her name) was ok, but nothing else. But Sabine Kalter and Emanuel List, one of the greatest bassos ever, were both so remarkable.
But the stars are Flagstad and Melchior, both singing such movingly, hauntingly beautifully and securly throughout the whole opera.
Reiner's conducting is also extremely good. He has just the right timing and the orchestra also plays beautifully.
Finally the sound. The sound is also remarkable. The sound is of course noisy (it is a live recording fra 1936), but still is it extremely clear. You hear what is being sung at all times with no distortion in the voices, even when they sing at the highest, which is a normal problem for recordings from that aera.
Again, like the heading says, it is perfect. All the stars sing at their best and deliver the best performance one is likely to hear anywhere anytime.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Philip May on February 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This version on Tristan and Isolde is one of two versions currently available with Kirsten Flagstad and Lauritz Melchior. That Melchior is the top Heldentenor of all time is undisputed. Flagstad is considered one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos ever. To many, myself included, hers is the "voice of the century". Fritz Reiner, who later in life made the Chicago Symphony Orchestra one of the world's best ensembles, is quite good here. The London Philharmonic players handle the music well, though the 1936 recording doesn't do them justice. The rest of the cast is wonderful, all first rate Wagnerians - this is quite simply the best singing you will ever hear of this opera. If you want to be swept away by the sound of the orchestra, then a more modern recording, say Kleiber or Karajan, is for you. If you value the interpretation over all else, Furtwangler is the best, and a 57 year old Flagstad is still superior to all but a younger Flagstad. But to hear the best singing ever, Flagstad and Melchior in their primes is absolutely unbeatable.

As for the reviewer who strongly favored the Beecham recording - he should check the liner notes. Most of acts I and III on the "Beecham" recording is actually this Reiner performance. Many of the original 78s for the Beecham performance have been lost, so EMI filled the gaps with Reiner. That said, this pressing by Naxos brings the voices out much better than the EMI pressing. Recording engineer Ward Marston is truly a marvel.

I should also mention that there are potentially better Tristan recordings of Flagstad/Melchior out there. The Metropolitan Opera broadcast nine out of the sixty-seven times the pair sung it at the Met between 1935 and 1941. None of these have been released, but the tapes are sitting there. Perhaps someday Naxos or some other label that restores classic performances will get access to the Met archives and give us an even better performance.
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