Berg: Lulu [Sung in English]by Lisa Saffer
It doesn�t matter if you�ve heard Karl B�hm�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 B�hm�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.
- Release Date:
- Lulu, opera
Performance CreditsLisa Saffer Primary Artist
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