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     Wagner: TRISTAN UND ISOLDE    Table of Contents      Wagner: DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN

The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- Libretti
- Wagner: DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG


Wagner: DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG

On January 4, 1886, during the second German season at the Metropolitan Opera, Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg received its American premiere. In 1894, under the Grau management, it became I Maestri Cantori di Norimbergo, sung in Italian with Jean Lassalle as Sachs, Jean De Reszke as Walther von Stolzing, Emma Eames as Eva, and Luigi Mancinelli conducting, and it remained in Italian until the season before Mapleson began recording Met performances. However, as these cylinders show, the chorus continued to sing in Italian even after the principals had reverted to the original.

The dating of Mapleson's two cylinders from Meistersinger is conjectural, as there is no relevant diplomatic evidence. The opera received three performances in 1900-01, one in 1901-02, and two in 1902-03. The sound quality is good enough to suggest 1903; as the March 21 performance is later than any other definitely dated Mapleson recording of an operatic performance, the February 20 date may be more likely. (The recording speeds are not the same, and the two excerpts need not be from the same performance.) Should the cylinders predate 1903, the conductor would be Walter Damrosch rather than Hertz.

Band 1

Act III, Scene 2: Chorale: "[Wach'] auf!" ... "Heil!"

Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra--

Alfred Hertz (?)

February 20 or March 21, 1903 (?)

After the Mastersingers arrive at the Festwiese, the populace sings a chorale in honor of Hans Sachs; the (German) words were written by the historical Hans Sachs. (Near the end, there is an obstructed, untrackable groove.)

[original]

ALL

[Or]sù! Già l'alba appare in ciel!
Vicin a me su un arboscel
soave canta un uscignuol
ai fiori che allietan il nostro suol.
La notte omai si dileguò,
e l'oriente gia biancheggiò.
Il sol ben presto sfavillerà
e l'ombre tutte dissiperà.
Evivva Sachs! Onor, onor
di Norimbergo al gran cantor! ecc.

[translation]

ALL

Awake! Already dawn appears in the sky!
Near me, on a tree,
a nightingale sings sweetly
to the flowers that grace our land.
At last the night fades away,
and the east already brightens.
Very soon the sun will shine
and drive away all the shadows.
Hail Sachs! Honor, honor
to the great singer of Nuremberg! etc.

Band 2

Act III, Scene 2: Final Chorus: "[Ehrt eure deutsch]en Meister"

Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra--

Alfred Hertz (?)

February 20 or March 21, 1903 (?)

[Slip, undated;, Glackens 64, undated.]

At the opera's end, the populace and principals take up Sach's exhortation to honor German artists, and then turn once again to hail Sachs himself. (In these pages, Wagner asks the soloists to sing along with the chorus, so the soprano heard ascending to the optional high C may well be Johanna Gadski, who sang Eva in all six relevant performances.)

[original]

ALL

[L'arte Tedesca o]nora
e sia sovrana ognora!
Fin ch'essa è cara al nostra cor,
quand' anche lo splendor
cessasse del Roman,
eterna vivrà l'arte del German! ecc.
Gloria! Gloria!
Gloria ad Hans Sachs!

[translation]

ALL

Honor German art--
may it rule forever!
As long as it is dear to our hearts,
though even the splendor
of Rome should crumble,
German art will live forever! etc.
Hail! Hail!
Hail! to Hans Sachs!


     Wagner: TRISTAN UND ISOLDE    Table of Contents      Wagner: DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN