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Richard Strauss: Elektra
Pietro Mascagni, Jules Massenet, Giacomo Puccini
Richard Strauss: Elektra
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
 

      
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CD Reviews

Historic Performance
09/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a historic performance done on Christmas day, 25 Dec 1949. Mitripoulos conducts Elekra with Astrid Varnay in the title role. Astrid Varnay's refulgent tone is perfect for Elektra. The performance is incandescent - but more than usual cuts are made. For instance, the scene between Elektra and Chrysothemis where Chrysothemis tells Elektra that Orest is dead had been cut. This is ONLY for fanatics who want to listen to historic performances. The sonics is ancient and this set can never be a sole representation in an opera collection. But for fanatics, this is a superb record of a legendary performance at the Met. Astrid Varnay meets all the superhuman demands of the score and then some. She even adds a high B right at the end of the opera to increase the excitement. If you are opera lover, this is for you. If you are just a normal opera shopper who want one set and have no interest in listening to historic performances with ancient sound quality, then this is not for you. For you, the Solti Elektra with Decca would be the one to go for, or Astrid Varnay in a super clear Elektra under conductor Richard Kraus (Koch Schwann label). For collectors, this is great to add to your collection - also a very important scholastic and historic document of one of the best Elektra performances last century. Today, there are no Elektras that can match Varnay in her prime."