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Richard Wagner - Tristan und Isolde (James Levine, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra)

3.6 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

James Levine conducts the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and chorus in this production of Wagner's great love story. Featured singers inlcude Jane Eaglen, Benn Heppner, Rene Pape, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Heppner, Jane Eaglen, Rene Pape, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, Katarina Dalayman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 2004
  • Run Time: 238 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000CGV0P
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,682 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Richard Wagner - Tristan und Isolde (James Levine, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Erik Aleksander Moe on June 8, 2004
Format: DVD
I was fortunate enough to see this production in October 2003 and it was staggering. Finally there were people who could sing this extremely demanding opera really well. This DVD confirmed my initial reaction. Ben Heppner and Jane Eaglen were fantastic as the two doomed lovers.
Jane Eaglen was exeptionally good as Isolde. Sensitive and powerful. Her curse at the end of the narrative was staggering. Ben Heppner was equally great as Tristan. He is everything you could want from a great Tristan. What I like the most about this is the way they perform together, making the duet the highlight. Heppner's performance in the extremely difficult third act was also done with flying colors. He seemed like to give his all, but never got tired.
The supported cast is also really good. Katarina Dalayman is very good as Brangane and Rene Pape was his usual great self. He was a bit young for the king, but it hardly mattered when hearing his interpretation. Hans-Joachim Ketelsen was also really good as Kurwenal.
The conducting of James Levine was slow, as usual, but not in a bad way, like on his Parsifal. He manages to keep the drama moving, making his orchestra play very senstivly supporting the great leads on stage very well.
The picture is very good, but it is not 16:9. All of the new DVDs from performances from the European opera houses, like La Scala, are photographed using the high definition format. But this doesn't matter at all, being such a fantastic production.
The sound is also really exceptional with both an uncompressed PCM track in addition to a DTS track.
With this performance it is clear that great Wagnerian singing is not dead.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had the great pleasure of seeing this production at the Met on a night when Eaglen was, not surprisingly, out. Subbing for her (and making her Met debut!) was a svelte, dramatic woman named Sue Patchell, who sang beautifully and acted the role superbly. Heppner, always wonderful, rose to the occassion and matched her performance note for note, moment for moment. Patchell's ovation at the end was well-deserved and even Levine paid homage to her at the curtain call. I was hoping to recreate some of the excitement of that night with this DVD; I have mixed feelings about it. First of all, I think the production itself is fantastic. What's accomplished with the use of color, light (or lack thereof) and a few geometric shapes is truly remarkable. I know I'm going to get "unhelpful" votes, but I find the opera itself exceedingly dull in places, lacking the energy and drama of Wagner at his best (i.e. the Ring Cycle or "Meistersinger"). Thank goodness for something interesting to watch as the lovers go on and on (and on...) about love. A traditional set would have simply added to the tedium, which seemed more pronounced watching at home. And I think Eaglan's a big problem. It's not her size per se, but what she does (or doesn't do) with it. Deborah Voight, Stephanie Blythe and Jessye Norman are all large women, but they carry their weight with grace and a magnificent presence. Eaglan just seems...there, awkward, lumpish; she's just not enough of an actress to carry off the emotional turmoil of the character. Neither she nor Heppner sounds their best, and there's absolutely no chemistry between them. Heppner has nothing to work off of, so seems (atypically) to phone a lot of the performance in. (He's superb at the top of Act III...when Eaglan's offstage.) In supporting roles, Katarina Dalayman and Rene Pape are both superb. For me the production gets a 5, but this performance and the opera itself get 3s.
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By A Customer on February 15, 2004
Format: DVD
Complaints! Complaints! Tristan and Isolde was not performed at the Met for 16 years until 1999 because they couldn't even find anyone at all who could sing Tristan & Isolde 'live' on stage. In the studio, it is possible for small-voiced singers to take on Isolde & Tristan. But on stage? Impossible. That's why it took 16 years for Ben & Jane to appear. And what do they get - some ignorant person bashing their performance. Fact is Tristan & Isolde are among the 2 toughest role in the entire operatic repertoire. Jane & Ben does a magnificent job. We have been pampered too much by Nilsson's Isolde when Nilsson was in her prime. It is not really fair to compare Eaglen with Birgit Nilsson. Nilsson is very unique - there's only Birgit Nilsson & that's it. Jane is no Nilsson but she does a great job in her own way. Similarly Ben is no Jon Vickers. But he has his strengths. Stop bashing this DVD - we are lucky that the Met decided to release this - so much the richer for having yet another Tristan to look and listen to.
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Format: DVD
This roles are definitely hard to sing, and i found in heppner and eaglen two great performers. Ok, they probably are not better than Nilsson or VIckers, but...are they good? YES. Is this minimalistic production intense and persuasive? YES. I find a lot of things in this production that makes me approach to the wagnerian intention. We have to consider the whole thing together, The stage production, the lighting, the intention of the caracters. For me, all this considerations are satisfied. Heppner and Eaglen are exceptional, as well as the rest of the characters. The production is amazing, very well conceived, and surprising to see this on the MET, where the more traditional productions are usual.

This is my first Wagnerian DVD, and i highly recommend this one. If you dont need real ships or castles, but you are deep into the music, the lirics and the intensity. Is all that matter here.
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