This production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde is very nicely done. However, the sound isn't that great, the pacing is off at times, the camera work was a tad rushed at times and the picture quality is grainy. Complaints aside, the sets and costumes are wondrous, the lighting is effective and the music is a joy to behold. The whole production is worth seeing for just the Prelude to Act 1, the Love Duet and the Liebestod all on their own. Karl Bohm does a fine job conducting as well, I will briefly say that I do prefer Herbert Von Karajan when it comes to Wagner but this was very assuredly conducted by a great conductor. The singing is excellent. Jon Vickers is a revelation as Tristan, he has a really outstanding acting ability here and his whole performance in act 3 was out of this world. Birgit Nilson is a lovely Isolde, looking beautiful and singing and acting a dream, her Liebestod is achingly poignant here. Ruth Hesse acts well as Brangane, whose role is quite significant here, and her singing is decent. She isn't quite Crista Ludwig, but she does well. Walter Berry, a fine bass who will be sorely missed is a fine Kurwenal, and Bengt Rundgren is an imposing King Mark. Overall, nicely done, with problems of course, but I liked it. It is well worth seeing for the music, Vickers and Nilson alone. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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