Tristan und Isolde Conductors in Bayreuth
One of the performances this year was recorded and released on CD. Norwegians Gunnar Graarud is Tristan and Ivar F. Andresen King Marke. Listen to Andresen here (link will open your default MP3 player).
On 26 June 1930, in the presence of Siegfried, Winifred, Daniela, Eva and the assembled musical directors and assistants, Toscanini took his first rehearsal. It turned out to be something of a shock. The maestro demanded the highest virtuosity, and was angry when he did not find it. Instead of being grateful, as a 'non-German', for being allowed to conduct on the 'hallowed' soil of Bayreuth, he complained - and in Italian, to boot. Lieselotte recorded that ' when he did not like the way the second violins played a particular passage, he brought his baton down so hard that it broke in half, and he threw the broken halves over his shoulder and stamped his foot ... the musicians are already grumbling about his intensive rehearsals. He sings, or rather croaks, loudly along with every part.' His frequent beating out of the time, accompanied by a furious 'no, no', earned him the nickname 'Toscanono'.
Brigitte Hamann: Winifred Wagner: A Life at the Heart of Hitler's Bayreuth
For Toscanini it was a great night, his Bayreuth debut.
To his presence—perhaps
his last engagement as an opera conductor —was ascribed an early
sell-out of admissions for the whole season. He is conducting all five
Tannhauser performances, the three of Tristan. Before him no South European
had held the conductor's wand at the Festspielhaus. Thus to him had fallen
the honor of bringing true Friedrich Nietzsche's words of long ago to Wagner: "We
must 'Mediterraneanize' music." Tannhauser had not been given in Bayreuth
in 25 years. It was an equally long time since Toscanini had conducted
it. After each act (and at following performances) the great audience cheered
tempestuously, threw hats, stamped, applauded, called for conductor and
cast. But they called vainly. There are no curtain calls at Bayreuth.
(Time Magazine, Monday, Aug. 04, 1930)
Victor de Sabata
Herbert von Karajan
A performance from this Festival was recorded.
A new production. Stage director: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.
This production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle was filmed and released on DVD with Johanna Meier and René Kollo as Isolde and Tristan.
New production. Stage director: Heiner Müller.
This production by Heiner Müller became a huge success. It was Waltraud Meier's debut as Isolde. The production was filmed and released on DVD with Waltraud Meier and Siegfried Jerusalem as Isolde and Tristan.
Tristan: Robert Dean Smith
Isolde Iréne Theorin
A new production by Katharina Wagner.