Music: Voices from the Past

The perfection of modern studio recording is one thing. The excitement of live performance is another. Who, for example, would not want to hear two of the century's greatest Wagnerians, Soprano Kirsten Flagstad and Tenor Lauritz Melchior, sing Tristan und Isolde together as they did at the Metropolitan Opera before World War II? Trouble is, Flagstad and Melchior never commercially recorded a complete opera together. For that matter, Melchior never recorded any complete opera.

Now a solution is at hand. The deficit-ridden Met, needing every dollar it can get, has decided to go into...

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