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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde


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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde + Wagner: Tristan und Isolde  (Barenboim, Bayreuth Festival)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Barenboim, Teatro alla Scala Orchestra and Chorus, Ian Storey, Waltraud Meier, Michelle DeYoung
  • Directors: Patrice Chereau
  • Writers: Richard Wagner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Classics
  • DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009
  • Run Time: 257 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EZ79V8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,873 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wagner: Tristan und Isolde" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Waltraud Meier, Ian Storey, Michelle DeYoung, Gerd Grochowski, and Matti Salminen star in this 2007 La Scala production of the Wagner opera conducted by Daniel Barenboim and directed by Patrice Chereau.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Thomas F. Dillingham VINE VOICE on November 24, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I hope the notation at Amazon that this DVD has been discontinued by the manufacturer is in error. It would be absurd to delete it only weeks after its official release; not only absurd, it would be a travesty, because this DVD set provides a record of an extraordinary and deeply moving performance.

It must be said that the director, Patrice Chereau, offers interpretations at several moments that will seem outlandish or wrong to purists and traditionalists; this is particularly true of the bleeding head of Isolde in her final monologue. But I would urge skeptics to watch, listen, pay attention to the text and the music, and I believe most would agree that Chereau has not "imposed" anything, but has drawn from the essence of Wagner's work some powerful aesthetic and theatrical effects, making this one of the most emotionally wrenching performances of the opera that I have ever seen. Arguments about the details should not distract from the obvious fact that Chereau has produced a performance that is entirely consistent within itself, and consistent with the spirit of Wagner's work (with, perhaps, a heavy dose of Schopenhauer's worldview included).

The principals are wonderful. Gerd Grochowski plays a youthful and smitten Kurwenal, obviously deeply in love with his master and willing to die for him. Michelle DeYoung, made to look far older than her actual years (quite the opposite of her youthful appearance in the Met production), again performs a sympathetic and nurturing Brangaene, but from a different place on the age spectrum. Both sing very well.

Matti Salminen's Marke is brusque, forceful, almost a King Lear in his initial royal autonomy, but staggered and nearly broken as Tristan's betrayal sinks in.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Niel Rishoi on January 21, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an overwhelming occasion in nearly every sense, a massive triumph. That we can now have a TRISTAN to be such is no small accomplishment.

First off, the sets, costumes. It is in neo-realistic style, with big stone walls and forbidding grays, blacks and dark colors. The singers are all dressed, refugee-style, long overcoats, shifts. It's not bad, but it still looks too modern (for me) of a tale that's set in "Legendary" times. To be sure, this is far more human, accessible approach than the abstracted remove of the Glyndebourne production; but a more romantic setting is needed for Act 2 (my opinion) to complement the luxuriant, sensual splendor of the central love duet. My number 1 choice for an overall concept in terms of matching mood to music is Ponnelle's, in the 1983 film from Bayreuth. Once you've seen it, you can't forget Johanna Meier and Rene Kollo under that huge, discreetly-dotted-lighted tree, on their knees, facing each other, with a gentle breeze wafting through. Wih this visual, bathed in that sensual music, it exactly captures that lushly romantic, mystical otherworldliness the music asks for.

What makes this production work so well is the direction of Patrice Chereau. Chereau rejected directing Tristan for years, because, as he put it, it was too much like a "radio play" - best heard, not seen. But having accepted it, he very much creates a moving, unstatic drama where there is action and movements as a consequence of the music and words. Everything has a specificity and purpose, and they're all done with unerring dramatic skill and taste. Best of all, Chereau gets performances out of these artists, and there's a real collaboration where the singers don't suffer in sacrifice to the directorial vision.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Linda McDougall on December 20, 2008
Format: DVD
I had no trouble finding this DVD on ArchivMusic, and I know that it certainly has NOT been discontinued, so do your research, Amazon!
Adding to the one excellent review would be superfluous - and I can only say that watching the audience response resounded to the Tristan Chord within my own being!
The performance is utterly gripping, heart-wrenching and true to Wagner in every sense. Patrice Chereau has proven, over and over, that he understands Wagner on the deepest level...the stark, surreal nature of his staging leaves only the music and the poetry for us to absorb. Barenboim's love of the composer is always evident - his directing is passionate, and as for the entire company:it's already been said. This must be the definitive version of this exquisite Music/Drama, so close to Wagner's true feelings of love and death...and though Schopenhauer is a bit too evident, the truth of the theme is presented on the emotional level, far beyond the intellectual.
Which is why we cry during the opera, but not while reading the philosopher.

And Waltraud Meier IS Isolde.

Buy it - you'll congratulate yourself forever.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By William B. Birdsall on July 13, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was a very intelligent Tristan und Isolde probably mainly due to Patrice Chereau's very human treatment of the characters. I have never been a huge fan of Waltraud Meier, but she won me over as Isolde even though I feel a few notes sounded frayed and problematic. Overall, she lives and breathes Isolde in this video. I am not as thrilled with Ian Storey, although he is okay. I suspect this role is a little too much for him, but he acts and sings okay, since there are no true Tristans around. The two leads look wonderful together, and you truly believe their passion. I believe Chereau did an amazing job with the story. Tristan und Isolde are like drugged on each other and when apart they are in withdrawal. There are some notes to that effect in the booklet. Chereau feels they did not really drink a love potion. It was just water or a placebo which they thought was their death. It simply caused them to realize their feelings. Barenboim conducts beautifully. I believe most lovers of Tristan und Isolde should get this video.

But now for the complaint. Patrizia Carmine (the tv and video director) allows the cameras to focus on the light that Isolde will extinguish over and over in Act 2. As if we want to see the stupid light for 5 seconds while Isolde is singing! We want to see Isolde's face as she is singing! At one point the red cape-like coat becomes a focus and keeps being intertwined visually with Waltraud Meier's face as she's singing. Carmine decided to juxtapose the cape Meier is wearing with Isolde for some unknown reason. Then, in Act 3 she fades to black over and over. I suppose it is to show how Tristan is fading and about to die and going into the dark, but it is too distracting. It causes us to miss Tristan's emotions. We don't care about Patrizia Carmine's ideas.
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