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Overture: Tannhäuser (1926)

Not Rated | | Short, Music | 6 August 1926 (USA)
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra performs the Prelude to Tannhaeuser by Richard Wagner.




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Complete credited cast:
New York Philharmonic ...
Themselves (as New York Philharmonic Orchestra)
Henry Hadley ...
Himself (conductor)


Henry Hadley (1871-1937) conducts the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in the overture to Wagner's "Tannhäuser." Two cameras provide some visual variation: a stationary one that shows Hadley and the full orchestra of more than 80 musicians, and one that does a modest amount of panning and is closer to the musicians, usually showing us about 15 within the frame. All are men, in tuxedos. No words are spoken in this early talkie. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

opera | classical music | See All (2) »


Short | Music


Not Rated




Release Date:

6 August 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Overture Tannhäuser, by Richard Wagner, Played by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone Production Reel #314. See more »


Featured in Okay for Sound (1946) See more »


Prelude to Tannhäuser
Music by Richard Wagner
Performed by the New York Philharmonic (as New York Philharmonic Orchestra)
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User Reviews

As The Title
12 September 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

One of the series of Vitaphone shorts that played on the program of the screen premiere of DON JUAN -- itself a landmark as the first feature film with a full synchronized score -- this is nothing more or less than a performance of the Metropolitan Opera company playing.... well, the overture to TANNHAUSER, in the pit at the old Opera House.

The camera is leaden, as you might expect. There are two basic camera positions, a medium long shot with most of the orchestra in view, and a closer camera. The second is the one that moves a bit in pans, mostly to show you the flautists to the left of conductor Henry Hadley.

The sound is also pretty good, although a bit thin in the upper registers. Still, given the restrictions of the era, this is an important document of the era, as it was meant to be. And the performance is, as one would expect of the Met, excellent.

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