- Elektra, opera, Op. 58 (TrV 223)
Richard Strauss: Elektraby Georg Solti
Decca's "Elektra" is a remarkable account of the opera. Recorded in 1968, produced by John Culshaw with an all-star cast, this performance captures the opera's brutality and atmosphere of nearly uninterrupted hysteria. Georg Solti conducts the Vienna Philharmonic, one of the great Strauss orchestras, in a searing reading of the frenzied score. Solti's control of the opera's waves of tension and fury makes the moment of Elektra's recognition of Orest almost unbearably triumphant, and the ending a cataclysmic summation of Elektra's passion. Birgit Nilsson fully inhabits the title role, sustaining an exhausting, obsessive level of rage. Her voice is wonderfully colorful, and she uses it to create a character of complex, conflicted motivations. Regina Resnik's singing is rich, even voluptuous, but she is stunningly monstrous and haunted as Klytämnestra. Leonie Rysanek had been scheduled to sing Chrysothemis, which would have made this an absolute dream cast, but she was forced to cancel. In her place, Marie Collier does a fine job, making Elektra's weaker sister poignantly empathetic. Tom Krause is appropriately menacing as Orest, and Gerhard Stolze makes the most of Aegisth, giving him a chilling death scene. The singers in the smaller roles are as conscientious as the principals in creating sharply etched characters. In a recording full of brilliant performances, the brilliance of the orchestral playing is never overshadowed, thanks to Solti's propulsive and nuanced leadership. London's sound is clean and vibrant, with excellent sense of dramatic presence.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsGeorg Solti Primary Artist
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