Wagner: Tristan und Isolde - Ascher Fisch (3CD)

ABC Classics & Jazz
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Stuart Skelton, Gun-Brit Barkmin, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Asher Fisch

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 and Ain 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.”

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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90

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)

West Australian Symphony Orchestra, WASO Chorus, St George’s Cathedral Chorus

Asher Fisch (conductor)

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Praise for the concerts at which this recording was made:

Winner: 2019 Helpmann Award - Best Individual Classical Music Performance (Asher Fisch)

Winner: 2019 Helpmann Award - Best Symphony Orchestra Concert

Nominated: 2019 Helpmann Award - Best Individual Classical Music Performance (Stuart Skelton)

“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

“ As impressive a cast as you’d be lucky to find at Covent Garden or The Met .” – Limelight