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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

37 customer reviews

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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde + Wagner: Parsifal / Metropolitan Opera + Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg / Heppner, Mattila, Morris, Pape, Allen, Polenzani, Levine, Metropolitan Opera
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Editorial Reviews

Rene Kollo stars in this Bayreuth production of the Wagner opera conducted by Daniel Barenboim.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Barenboim, Beyreuth Festival Orchestra, Johanna Meier, Matti Salminen, Hanna Schwarz
  • Directors: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, NTSC, DTS Surround Sound, Dolby, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0), German (DTS 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2007
  • Run Time: 247 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OONQ1W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,479 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

204 of 211 people found the following review helpful By Archie (Ottawa Canada) on July 15, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Tristan Und Isolde" is doubtless one of the greatest operas ever written. Unfortunately it has been very badly served by the currently available productions on DVD.

The Nilsson/Vickers from Orange is ruined (as usual from Kultur) by a very poor technical production and design.

The Heppner/Eaglen from the Met has two principals who cannot act convincingly; although Heppner can really sing the part. Eaglen's voice leaves a great deal to be desired and her physical limitations prevent her from much in the way of physical action. Neither of them look even remotely the way I am sure most of us have pictured Tristan and Isolde to have looked.

The West/Meier from Munich is a travesty. The setting is just plain stupid, given what the text calls for; and West not only fails to sing convincingly, but he cannot act and looks even less like Tristan than Heppner. What is so frustrating is the waste of Waltraud Meier who has the acting and singing ability and the looks; and the waste of Kurt Moll who is a superb King Marke.

The Treleaven/Polaski from Barcelona is also spoiled by a silly production and less than stellar singing from the principals. They are the same cast as was used in the Barcelona Kupfer II "Ring", and I truly hated Treleaven and Struckmann there, as well as here.

I am writing this review now, despite not having seen this production for almost a year (since I found out that it would be rereleased as a DVD), because I want to share my great enthusiasm for it. It is based on my recollection of my much cherished Video. I have waited a long time for this rerelease as a DVD, and I am sure that DGG, unlike Kultur, have done their usual great technical transfer. It is a Bayreuth production from the early 1980's.
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83 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Pirooz Aghssa on August 15, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is so transformative to experience Tristan und Isolde done by a director who understands the mythic dimensions of this piece and who obviously loves the volcanic force this music. There are no directorial banalities here to undermine the music. It is powerful theatre and powerful music.

Johanna Meier is glorious as Isolde. She has power, lyricism, vulnerability, looks, musicality. It is too bad that this great artist's career was undervalued and underappreciated.

Rene Kollo is wonderful and has great chemistry with Meier. The way he listens to King Marke's monologue in Act II is heart breaking. Matti Salminen's Marke is an emotional tour de force and a psychological revelation.

Like the other reviewers here, I endorse this DVD enthusiastically. There is no other version of this opera on DVD that compares to this. AND THAT IS THE TRUTH.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By C. Boerger on October 3, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
FINALLY, I'm getting a chance to review this DVD. Having preordered the item before its official release date, which was two months ago, I just received my Tristan und Isolde yesterday. However, I'm not going to shortchange the production itself on account of Amazon's colossal blunder, because this DVD is definitely worth the wait!

Several other reviewers have already made all the important comments regarding this production, so I just want to add my voice to theirs. I own three DVDs of this opera, and this is the best Tristan und Isolde I have seen, based on the understated, lush compatibility, as well as the dreamlike beauty of the production, and on the consistency of the performances. This one comes closest to what I believe were Wagner's intentions(well, except for the ending) and is definitely worth owning. Probably the highest compliment I can pay it is this: I am eagerly looking forward to watching it again, and how many four hour DVDs can you say that about?

Rene Kollo in his prime was probably the Tristan of choice at that time, and watching and listening to this it's easy to see why. His voice has all the qualities one expects from a Tristan, beautiful, lyrical, also stentorian, plus he is physically convincing as a young warrior and lover. His expressive face captures all the right moods, from passion to guilt to madness and finally peace. Johanna Meier's Isolde is captivating from her very first note onward, she has a beautiful voice, singing Wagner instead of screaming it. I must say, however, that her rendition of the liebestod is probably the subtlest, most softspoken(softsung?) I have ever heard. Not that it isn't beautiful...I still had goosebumps...but she is so ethereal she is occasionally overpowered by the orchestra.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Snake Man on August 4, 2007
Format: DVD
Much like my recent review of the 1981 Bayreuth production of Parsifal I am happy to say that this is by far the best production of Tristan und Isolde that I have seen and comes close to fulfilling everything that I imagine Wagner himself would have sought regarding his vision of gesamtkunstwerk.

There are no serious flaws with this performance/production though it is not perhaps absolutely perfect it is much better than other productions I have seen, including those that have been fairly traditional, that by comparison seem somewhat static and lacking in imagination in terms of staging.

Ponelle does a great job here firstly and foremost with a staging that perfectly complements the score - this is particularly clear in Act 2 whilst both Act 1 and Act 3 have appropriate sets. In Act 2 the music synthesizes perfectly with the changes from day to night and from the lovers' perception of day to night to day - sort of expressionistic but I think it works. Like the Parsifal production mentioned earlier the depiction of a natural world - large tree, grass, night and day effects - make this performance come to life and I think it is befitting of a Wagner opera: we see the natural world blend with a sort of transcendental world; this is a point that seems to be overlooked in modern productions of say 'der Ring'. The first act is done well though I felt it is the weakest of the three acts. This is perhaps difficult to stage but the use of a mast that semi-obscures Tristan seems quite appropriate. The final act opens impressively on a rock by a blackened tree as if to provide a contrast with the similarly dominating and very much alive tree present in the previous act when the lovers are in their element.
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