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Richard Strauss: Elektra (Highlights)
Richard [1] Strauss, Arnold Quennet, Orchester der Deutschen Oper am Rhein
Richard Strauss: Elektra (Highlights)
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1


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Two electrifying elektra's
M. A. Hoos | rotterdam, the netherlands | 12/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was quite thrilled when I found out about this release. For a personal reason: I studied privately with the second Elektra on this disc, the Dutch Marijke van der Lugt.

I remember her stories about this perfomance. She studied Elektra in Frankfurt, Germany, and her teacher recommended her to go and see the production with Astrid Varnay in Düsseldorf. She went there and was utterly impressed. And quite disheartened as well: I'll never ever be able to give a performance like that! Shortly after Varnay fell ill and van der Lugt replaced her, with tremendous succes.

The first result of this succes was that she sang about 20 performances of Turandot at the Düsseldorf Opera House in 1964, and then in december started this new production of Elektra. And she was a very interesting Elektra indeed. Strauss and Wager were very much her 'Fach', she sang Brünnhilde and Isolde and performed in Londen, Berlin and Vienna. Her voice was exceptionally huge. The booklet says: "Contemporary witnesses still speak enthusiastically of the fullness and carrying power of her voice". The recordings are quite acceptable. They were made by the conductor Quennet himself who recorded a number of performances as a kind of check.

Quennet is an interesting conductor, not very subtle maybe, but he really knows how to give these performances emotional power. Marijke van der Lugt told me that in her production the scene was almost completely grey, with sudden outburst of coloured light, underlining different emotional states.

Astrid Varnay is of course much better known and most people will buy this disc because of her. And they will not be disappointed...

I was very much impressed too by Jean Madeira as Klytamnestra. I had never heard her before. She has a wonderful dark and expressive voice.

Recommended for Elektra lovers!"