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Strauss: Elektra / Mitropoulos, Borkh, Della Casa, Et Al

Release Date: 08/08/2006 
Label:  Opera D'oro   Catalog #: 7033   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Lisa OttoAnny FelbermayerSieglinde WagnerJean Madeira,   ... 
Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera ChorusVienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: n/a 
Length: 1 Hours 47 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"If you admire Borkh's Elektra but are frustrated by the brevity of her fragments with Reiner and by the reticence of Karl Böhm's accompaniment on her complete DG set, you may well find this inflammatory reading with Mitropoulos worth investigation—although it too has its disappointment quota. Certainly, from the very opening gesture, we know that this will not be an especially disciplined performance; and from the sonic chaos of the opening scene (which barely holds together), it's obvious that your listening pleasure will be directly proportional to the powers of your reconstructive imagination. Madeira, too, is an approximate Klytämnestra—hardly a foil for Borkh's concentrated (although, in spots, surprisingly tender) Read more reading of the title role.

Still, the virtues are plentiful. Mitropoulos may be more resourceful in the brief orchestral interludes (for instance, the music that frames the Klytämnestra scene) than he is when accompanying the singers. But he's far more comfortable with the music's expressionistic rhetoric than Böhm is: whether it be in his handling of Strauss's colors, his textures, or his intensifying gestures, the musical fabric never loses its connection to the music's dramatic point. Della Casa is a radiant Chrysothemis—and if Kurt Böhme starts out unsteadily, he and Borkh build their incestuous duet into a powerful psychological tug-of-war.

I'd still give pride of place to the implacable Reiner excerpts (which include not only three scenes from Elektra, but the final scene of Salome as well)—perhaps the most compelling (in the strict sense of the word) Strauss recording I know. But those seeking a fuller Elektra might reasonably want to supplement that disc with this set as well."

-- Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare 1/1992 [Reviewing earlier release of this recording, Memories 4380]
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Works on This Recording

Elektra, Op. 58 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Lisa Otto (Soprano), Anny Felbermayer (Soprano), Sieglinde Wagner (Mezzo Soprano),
Jean Madeira (Mezzo Soprano), Lisa Della Casa (Soprano), Inge Borkh (Soprano),
Sonja Draksler (Mezzo Soprano), Alois Pernerstorfer (Bass Baritone), Kurt Böhme (Bass),
Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano), Kerstin Meyer (Mezzo Soprano), Audrey Gerber-Candy (Soprano),
György Littasy (Bass), Erich Majkut (Tenor), Max Lorenz (Tenor),
Karol Loraine (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/07/1957 
Venue:  Live  Felsenreitschule, Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 106 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: German 

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