Tristan und Isolde was the first complete Opera from Richard Wagner I aquired a CD (The Böhm Recording on DGG). I know, not the easiest, but I found access to it through it, and since them, I became a real fan of the componist. I’m always amazed by the 4 hours of consistant chromatic music flow, which takes you even if from a dramatic point of view, it’s a very “simple” story.

Which recording I would recommend? Probably the Böhm, as it has the right balance between speed and slowness, the right singers, not to histrionic, but present as they have to be (Nilsson is of course amazing), and it’s more vivid as current with live recordings than others…

RecordingCommentsMusical qualityTechnical quality
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein (1981)++ Leonard Bernstein, even if special (Very slow, the complete concept is very interesting and original)
+ The singers are fitting to the concept, no one stands out.
**** (As a whole, the individuals are not relevant anymore...)**** (Good amount of details)
Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler (1953)++ Wilhelm Furtwängler (He creates a real atmosphere all the long, and has a little more drive than Bernstein for instance)
++ Kirsten Flagstad, (OK, she's passed her zenith..)
++ Ludwig Suthaus (not Lauritz Melchior, but I like the voice)
- A bit dry in comparison to the live, but a Tristan made for eternity
********* (Good mono)
Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler (1947)++ Wilhelm Furtwängler
++ Ludwig Suthaus
***** (The act I is missing... But more vivid than the studio. Really thrilling 3rd act in my view, the partnership between Suthaus and Furwängler works very well)** (Live Mono)