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5.0 out of 5 stars Indulge in the sheer sound
One of the benefits of DVD with long operas like Tristan is that each DVD holds two CDs worth of music, which makes it cheaper when the CDs are at full price. Then you get video as well!
There would be very few operas where little is gained by seeing it over just hearing, but Tristan is perhaps the prime example of that very phenomenon. Having developed the...
Published on June 25 2004 by Matthew J. Williams

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2.0 out of 5 stars A mediocre performance
I'm not too satisfied with this performance on DVD. The production is very static. (The poor acting doesn't help.) The singing is far below the standard of vintage Wagnerian performance. Levine and his band do better justice to the music. But on the whole, it is an uninspiring performance. Not that worthy to be presevered on video.
Published on July 8 2004


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2.0 out of 5 stars A mediocre performance, July 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso (DVD)
I'm not too satisfied with this performance on DVD. The production is very static. (The poor acting doesn't help.) The singing is far below the standard of vintage Wagnerian performance. Levine and his band do better justice to the music. But on the whole, it is an uninspiring performance. Not that worthy to be presevered on video.
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1.0 out of 5 stars No match for Meier and Voigt, July 4 2004
This review is from: Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso (DVD)
This dvd is thoroughly disapppointing, as the singing and production are both substandard. I'm particularly disappointed with Jane Eaglen's Isolde, who is no match to Deborah Voigt or Waltraud Meier's assumptions. Those who want to have a decent representation of the opera on recording should look elsewhere.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A dull production, June 28 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso (DVD)
This dvd is just so dull! I'm bored by the directionless direction and the poor acting. Heppner is ok in the part of Tristan, but Eaglen is really not up to the task. Levine has been caught off guard (musically) in a few moments.
I don't think this is really good enough to be released on dvd.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Indulge in the sheer sound, June 25 2004
By 
Matthew J. Williams "mattjw" (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso (DVD)
One of the benefits of DVD with long operas like Tristan is that each DVD holds two CDs worth of music, which makes it cheaper when the CDs are at full price. Then you get video as well!
There would be very few operas where little is gained by seeing it over just hearing, but Tristan is perhaps the prime example of that very phenomenon. Having developed the 'invisible orchestra' Wagner speculated about the idea of an 'invisible stage'. Personally I enjoy this music the most with my eyes closed, so care little whether the production is good or atrocious.
So firstly, then, the music. Levine conducts a spacious, mature reading that swells and subsides and takes your heart with it. The Met orchestra shows just how beautiful a sound it can make.
Eaglens voice as sheer sound envelops the orchestra with faultless, pulsing waves of beauty, yet she can produce edge when necessary for dramatic reasons. Heppner's heldentenor negotiates Tristan's taxing lines with attractive tone. He sings the notes with convulsing fervour in the mad scene of Act 3. Rene Pape has the most beautiful bass voice around today, and makes a haunting and handsome King Marke.
Now, the production. Given what I said before about not caring, if I were to be watching as well as hearing Tristan, this is just the kind of thing I would like. The production is largely still, spare, symbolic, and hauntingly lit, and so it doesn't distract from the music. Normally, I don't like that kind of arty-farty nonsense from directors, and prefer traditional productions. But for a drama that largely takes place in the mind, this seems to me very appropriate.
There is a bonus picture gallery of the history of Tristan and Isolde at the Met, which didn't excite me for very long, but may be of more interest if it brings back memories for you.
Sound is either PCM Stereo or DTS 5.1, so no Dolby Digital 5.1 (surprisingly, since the Fidelio has that option). Picture is 4:3. Subtitles German; English; French; Spanish and Chinese.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing in both production and singing, June 23 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso (DVD)
I can in no way rank this dvd production high on my list of good classical music releases. The reasons are simple: The production is dull and the acting rudimentary. The singing is uncharacterful and vocally inadequate. Both Heppner and Eaglen are over-parted in their roles, and Eaglen often makes some ugly sounds. Even Levine seems to be nodding off, as he's caught off guard at a few instances. This is quite a disappointment for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, June 22 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso (DVD)
Wow!! I couldn't believe my ears. The sheer beauty and power of Jane and Ben. It is unmissable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!!, June 21 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso (DVD)
Jane Eaglen is absolutely AWESOME as Isolde. Heppner is absolutely AWESOME as Tristan. I would place Eaglen together on EQUAL rank with Birgit Nilsson, Astrid Varnay and Kirsten Flagstad as Isolde. In terms of power, Eaglen is slightly below (only slightly) the famous trio. But Eaglen's vocal beauty AND warmth surpasses that of Nilsson & Varnay. Can't really compare Flagstad since mono sound is not comparable to digital sound.
Heppner is the same rank as Vickers. Heppner definitely surpasses Windgassen.
Levine is MAGIC!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stumped!, June 21 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso (DVD)
I was stumped when I heard this. Is Tristan und Isolde THAT good? Yes!! It is. Even after having heard Nilsson's legendary account, this Tristan has something DIFFERENT to offer. Not only DIFFERENT but also exceptionally BEAUTIFUL. You'll regret not hearing it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Voigt, June 21 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso (DVD)
I've heard the Voigt release under Thielemann. This is far far superior to Voigt. Not because Voigt is not good but because Thielemann holds back too much.
Here Levine and Eaglen are an EQUAL match and that makes the results utterly thrilling!!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Wait for Voigt's Isolde, June 21 2004
This review is from: Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso (DVD)
There is no doubt that Jane Eaglen doesn't have the voice and technique for the role of Isolde. Her performance here is so bland and vocally precarious that I fail to derive much enjoyment from this dvd.
I would suggest that those who like Wagner's great opera to wait for Deborah Voigt's Isolde, which is truly sublime. Then, you'll know that Eaglen is simply not "the real thing".
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Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso
Wagner;Richard Tristan Und Iso by Brian Large (DVD - 2004)
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