The orchestra and the chorus of Romanian National Radio were superb. The conductor was a twentieth century music specialist, and a student of Hindemith at the University of California in Los Angeles — Lawrence Foster. Nobody could have delivered this difficult score better.
The international cast was of a high level. To begin with the protagonist, Lester Lynch (as Mathis) is a high quality baritone, excellent also as an actor (even in this concert performance) with a perfect touch for the Verdiroles he sings at La Scala. His counterpart was the Wagnerian tenor Torsten Kerl (as Albrecht von Brandenburg) with a clear timbre and the ability to slide into pianissino. It was good to see Falk Struckmann (as Riedinger) again; he was one of the protagonists of the Mehta, Ronconi and Pizzi Ring in 1978-82. In the men's group, the Austrian Norbert Ernst (as Hans Schwalb), often heard in Strauss and Wagner roles, was quite remarkable. In the women's group Brigitte Pinter excels as Ursula. She is a Wagnerian soprano able to descend to very low notes. Katerina Tretyakova (as Regina) is a coloratura lyric soprano and Stella Grigorian (as Countess Helfenstein) is a skilled alto.
A disappointing note: the concert hall has four thousand seats but some in the audience left after the first part. Those remaining reacted with ovations at the end of the opera.