Berg: Lulu [Sung in English]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard Karl Böhm’s incomplete but compelling recording of Berg’s Lulu or Pierre Boulez’ complete but not quite as compelling Lulu, you’ve got to hear Paul Daniels’ complete and overwhelmingly compelling Lulu. Why? Because not only is it complete – that is, not only does it include the two acts finished and orchestrated by Berg but the third act finished but left unorchestrated by Berg and realized almost fifty years later by Friedrich Cerha – but because this Lulu is sung in Richard Stokes' suave, sophisticated and somewhat decadent English translation. The gain in immediacy is incredible and the gain in intensity is immeasurable. All at once, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard Karl Böhm’s incomplete but compelling recording of Berg’s Lulu or Pierre Boulez’ complete but not quite as compelling Lulu, you’ve got to hear Paul Daniels’ complete and overwhelmingly compelling Lulu. Why? Because not only is it complete – that is, not only does it include the two acts finished and orchestrated by Berg but the third act finished but left unorchestrated by Berg and realized almost fifty years later by Friedrich Cerha – but because this Lulu is sung in Richard Stokes' suave, sophisticated and somewhat decadent English translation. The gain in immediacy is incredible and the gain in intensity is immeasurable. All at once, Berg’s final opera comes alive for English-speaking audiences ohne Deutsche. Paul Daniel’s direction, while not as masterful as Böhm’s or as precise as Boulez’s, is still brilliantly colorful and dramatically driven. He grasps the opera’s human drama and articulates its musical shape as two entwined parts of the total work, thereby making riveting theater out of what can sometimes seem to be Berg’s too overly cerebral inventions. The singers, stars of British opera although not nearly so well-known overseas, turn in fine to superb performances – Lisa Saffer is persuasive if not altogether seductive as Lulu, Susan Parry is convincing if a bit too histrionic as the Countess Geschwitz, Gwynne Howell is commanding if somewhat dilapidated as Schigolch – but the real star of the performance is Stokes’ translation. While of course it will never replace the German text, Stokes’ first-rate work may introduce Lulu to a whole new audience. Chandos’ sound is big, colorful and detailed if a bit too distant.
All Music Guide - James Leonard
It doesn't matter if you've heard Karl Böhm's incomplete but compelling recording of Berg's Lulu or Pierre Boulez' complete but not quite as compelling Lulu, you've got to hear Paul Daniels' complete and overwhelmingly compelling Lulu. Why? Because not only is it complete -- that is, not only does it include the two acts finished and orchestrated by Berg but the third act finished but left unorchestrated by Berg and realized almost fifty years later by Friedrich Cerha -- but because this Lulu is sung in Richard Stokes' suave, sophisticated and somewhat decadent English translation. The gain in immediacy is incredible and the gain in intensity is immeasurable. All at once, Berg's final opera comes alive for English-speaking audiences ohne Deutsche. Paul Daniel's direction, while not as masterful as Böhm's or as precise as Boulez's, is still brilliantly colorful and dramatically driven. He grasps the opera's human drama and articulates its musical shape as two entwined parts of the total work, thereby making riveting theater out of what can sometimes seem to be Berg's too overly cerebral inventions. The singers, stars of British opera although not nearly so well-known overseas, turn in fine to superb performances -- Lisa Saffer is persuasive if not altogether seductive as Lulu, Susan Parry is convincing if a bit too histrionic as the Countess Geschwitz, Gwynne Howell is commanding if somewhat dilapidated as Schigolch -- but the real star of the performance is Stokes' translation. While of course it will never replace the German text, Stokes' first-rate work may introduce Lulu to a whole new audience. Chandos' sound is big, colorful and detailed if a bit too distant.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/21/2006
  • Label: Chandos
  • UPC: 095115313022
  • Catalog Number: 3130
  • Sales rank: 214,637

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–61 Lulu, opera - Alban Berg & Alban Berg (165:12)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Lisa Saffer Primary Artist
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Berg's Lulu has always been one of my favourite 20th century operas. Act three was completed years after Berg's death, had it's premier in Paris in 1979, with Boulez conducting and Teresa Stratas as Lulu. After years of listening to the two act version with it's act three filler (a musical Venus without arms) this was a revelation. I was thrilled. This version, done in English is a real page turner... the music, it's just wonderful... Have our ears adjusted at last to 12 tone music? Who knew Berg's music would sound so beautiful, so accessible when mated with the english language... this text really communicates. It's so multi-layered. This version sits well along side Boulez's DGG recording of Lulu with Teresa Stratas. In my dreams, Berg's Lulu has always been on my "opera in English" wish list. My hats off to Chandos for bringing it forward, to the English National Opera Orchestra, to the singer's for their tight knit ensemble work and to Lisa Saffer as Lulu.

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