Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
This recording – captured live in concert in August 2018 – features a remarkable cast of singers including Stuart Skelton, one of the world’s greatest Wagner singers, who makes his long-awaited debut recording as Tristan. One of his signature roles, Skelton has performed Tristan to great acclaim all over the world, from The Metropolitan Opera in New York to the English National Opera and Germany’s Baden-Baden Festival, hailed as “a Tristan for the ages”, his performance “an unflagging, glorious lighthouse of Wagnerian singing, with inexhaustible power, vibrant resonance allied to warmth, subtlety and grace, and committed dramatic expression”.
Isolde is sung by German soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin, acclaimed over her glittering career for her interpretation of leading roles in works by Janáček, Britten, Berg, Wagner and Richard Strauss. Her Isolde was hailed as “thrilling”, “an extraordinarily complete portrayal” that was “a revelation”.
They are joined on this recording by an all-star cast including Ekaterina Gubanova, Boaz Daniel andAin Anger, alongside the West Australian Symphony Orchestra conducted by their Principal Conductor Asher Fisch, one of today’s supreme Wagner interpreters.
Tristan und Isolde changed forever the rules about what music should and could be, and introduced concepts – including chromaticism, dissonance and even atonality – which would define the development of music throughout the 20th century.
But it is above all a work of staggering beauty, of love unfulfilled, where singers and orchestra come together in some of the most sublime music ever written. “Life and death, the whole import and existence of the outer world,” wrote Wagner himself, “here hang on nothing but the inner movements of the soul.”
Praise for the concerts at which this recording was made:
“An astonishing gift to audiences and a triumph of music making… WASO has never sounded better, and you’ll not encounter this stunning cast again.” – Limelight
“I was there — and knew I was in the presence of greatness.” – The West Australian
“Superlative” – BachTrack
“There was a loud and universal standing ovation, richly deserved after this unforgettable account
of Wagner’s masterpiece.” – Australian Book Review
“One of the most revelatory Wagner experiences I’ve had in my life.” – Daily Review
Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
Stuart Skelton Tristan
Gun-Brit Barkmin Isolde
Ekaterina Gubanova Brangäne
Boaz Daniel Kurwenal
Ain Anger King Marke
Angus Wood Melot
Paul O’Neill Young Sailor / Shepherd
Andrew Foote Steersman
St George’s Cathedral Consort
West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Asher Fisch Conductor
Recorded live in concert