Wagner
Tristan und Isolde
Stuart Skelton  t, Gun-Brit Barkmin s, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Asher Fisch
ABC CLASSIC 4818518 (3CD)

Opera Recording of the Year

With Skelton and Barkmin onboard, Asher Fisch finesses a West Australian matter of love and death

Tristanand Parsifalare, for me, the best Wagner operas and the most exhilarating to conduct. I cannot tell you which is better, But they’re the best operas in the repertory. Period. Nothing is better. – Asher Fisch

Asher Fisch has been nurturing and honing the West Australian Symphony Orchestra into a classy ensemble, culminating in this gala event for its 90th anniversary.

Gun-Brit Barkmin offers a formidable Isolde, the Narration capped by a gleaming high B. Her firm lower register easily copes with those taxing low notes, a fine match for Stuart Skelton’s polished mahogany baritonal hue. His Tristan is most remarkable in its range of expression from gentle caress to roaring rage. “Daylight’s” knight...