Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde – the operatic masterpiece of the mid-19th century. A truly revolutionary work that tells a timeless story.
This brand new recording of the opera is taken from acclaimed live performances at the Barbican during 2002 and 2003. Tim Ashley in The Guardian praised conductor Donald Runnicles – “His judgment of the ebb and flow of the score’s immense span is perfect.” While Andrew Clark in the Financial Times suggested that with Runnicles: “I actually found it possible to believe in Wagner’s opera as a drama of the mind, the ear and the heart…”
Given Tristan’s immense challenges the piece isn’t recorded as often as its reputation might suggest. Runnicles’s recording is only the third major release since 2000.
For the performances and recording Runnicles assembled a dedicated and expert cast.
“The coupling of soprano Christine Brewer and tenor John Treleavan …is still as erotically persuasive a musical partnership as any more lissom or lively duo I’ve seen on stage.” Anna Picard, The Independent.
Cornish tenor John Treleaven (Tristan) is one of the most distinguished Wagnerians of his generation. He was most recently heard at Covent Garden in the role of Siegfried, and in 2000 recorded Wagner’s Heroes in which he sang Siegmund and Siegfried.
Illinois-born soprano Christine Brewer (Isolde) arrives at Tristan via the title role in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and her performances in Fidelio, Britten’s Gloriana and Weber’s Oberon. She recently made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York under James Levine.
The supporting cast includes Peter Rose (King Marke) and Czech soprano Dagmar Peckova as Brangane. Rose performed Marke at Seattle Opera, and has played Gurnemanz in Wagner’s Parsifal at Graz Opera. Dagmar Peckova came to prominence after taking 1st prize at the Prague Spring Festival and she was a member of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin for many years.
The set comes with full libretto and notes.
“You would certainly have to go far to hear it better sung in the opera house. Christine Brewer’s Isolde had gleaming power, amplitude and amazing technical security… John Treleaven’s Tristan sang with ringing, clarion tone yet was capable of scaling down the voice in the intimate moments…” (The Times, February 2003)