"Tristan gives us a welcome opportunity to hear the masterly Carlos Kleiber conduct it, but the singers are mostly bested elsewhere, especially in the famous 1966 live Bayreuth recording with Nilsson and Windgassen, conducted by Boehm. The exception is Kurt Moll's superbly sung, profoundly moving King Mark; a performance to treasure. Yvonne Minton contributes a decent Brangäne, Donald McIntyre a sturdy Kurwenal - but Catarina Ligendza is often shrill as Isolde and Helge Brilioth hopelessly overparted as Tristan: he simply yells his way through the last act and cracks painfully on the high A-flat in his ravings."
Maybe a bit harsh?
I have the first "Opera on Record" and can confirm your recollection of Robin Holloway's ideal synthetic "Tristan":
Knapperstbusch Act 1, Stokowski Act 2 and Furtwangler Act 3.
Brangaene: Christa Ludwig
Kurwenal: Hans Hotter
King Mark: Ivar Andresen
Act 1: Treptow and Modl
Act 2: Melchior and Flagstad
Act 3: Suthaus and Braun
Well, yes, maybe....meanwhile we have to choose from what we have - and the options are pretty impressive.
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