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Thread: Richard Strauss on disc - Elektra

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Default Richard Strauss on disc - Elektra

    I can't believe I cannot find any thread made for Elektra recordings. Please, bring here some threads that do include recommendations.

    Yesterday I attended my first Opera performance live and guess which it was. Sung by Irene Theorin and conducted by Marc Albrecht. Today I finished the last Macbeth recording of my survey and thought it was a great time to do a serious challenge for this opera, listening to all the recordings possible.

    I had already heard many stereo recordings and even at first listen I loved the Böhm Dresden recording, I ended buying a very cheap version with libretto of the Solti recording, perfect to enjoy the voluminous orchestral sound of the Wiener Philharmoniker together with the Decca soundstagein the Sofiensaal.




    This is how the production I saw looked:



    Which are your favourite recordings of the opera? Do you prefer watching it live to listen with libretto?






    Of the whole list, of recordings of Elektra available, many are out of print. There are many old performances on print and I'm very interested in this one. This is almost the only recording that I haven't been able to find for streaming on youtube or spotity. Please, do you know where to find it to stream? Or could you send me a rip if you owned a recording of this performance? I'd just like to survey it, and if I love it I would buy it without any doubt.
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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    I used to have the Solti on LP but when I started replacing LPs with CDs all those years ago, I was never tempted to buy it again and still don't have a recording of it. I realised I just don't like the opera very much. I find it too overwrought. I keep thinking I should have a recording of the opera in my collection. If I were to get one, what would people suggest?
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    I have the Solti on cd but don't like it a lot either. (I keep it in storage in my attic)

    Part of the problem with this disc lies with Culshaws production of it. The music is so loud it overpowers the singers throughout the opera.

    I prefer to listen to the Karl Böhm set on dg and the Mitopoulos and Karajan sets on Orfeo.

    1961 a.jpg

    Mitropoulos a.jpg

    Karajan a.jpg
    Last edited by Andrew Kenneth; Jan-26-2020 at 11:46.

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    Senior Member Taplow's Avatar
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    The perennial favourite, and my only recording:


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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Any thoughts on the Sawallisch?



    I have his Arabella and Capriccio.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    Any thoughts on the Sawallisch?



    I have his Arabella and Capriccio.
    I think it's superb (but then I'm a Studer and Lipovsek fan). I waited quite a long time before buying it as I had Studer in the Vienna DVD with Abbado (a great DVD choice for the opera). I ended up getting it a couple of years ago when I was going through a Studer phase and decided I had to have almost every recording of hers available on CD and I was surprised at what a first rate recording it is. The only other recording of the opera that I like is the Solti (as Nilsson is perfect for the title role - her laser beam of a voice was certainly wrought, whether overly so is down to each person's individual taste).

    Sawallisch doesn't go for the jugular a la Solti, but that doesn't mean that this isn't an exciting and dramatically engaging reading of the score. The three women are wonderful and bring a white hot intensity to the drama. I certainly recommend it for anyone interested in the opera and not just the female members of the cast.

    N.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Granate, I found this om the D.G Instagram page .
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    Granate, I found this om the D.G Instagram page .
    I'm now really listening to it. Very decent, I prefer other modern recordings. But you know I'm a fan of Thielemann. Thanks.
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    I admire Solti's set very much, but I'll admit that, like most of the above posters, I don't tend to take it down from the shelves very often. In practice I gravitate more often to Böhm (not only his Dresden DG recording with Borkh, but also his live 1967 Montreal and 1971 Met recordings with Nilsson, and his final 1981 film with Rysanek as Elektra) and Mitropoulos (1957 with Borkh).

    One question: all those conductors, and most others, seem to stress the forward-looking aspects of the score (drama, tension, dissonance, anticipations of the Rite of Spring). That's very understandable. But I can also imagine an Elektra that emphasized the music's 19th-century roots: its grandeur, its sumptuousness, its descent from (even) Bruckner's Eighth. I don't say I'd want it that way every time, but I'd like to hear it like that sometimes as a counterbalance. Is there a recorded Elektra like that?
    Last edited by gvn; Jan-27-2020 at 08:55.

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvn View Post
    One question: all those conductors, and most others, seem to stress the forward-looking aspects of the score (drama, tension, dissonance, anticipations of the Rite of Spring). That's very understandable. But I can also imagine an Elektra that emphasized the music's 19th-century roots: its grandeur, its sumptuousness, its descent from (even) Bruckner's Eighth. I don't say I'd want it that way every time, but I'd like to hear it like that sometimes as a counterbalance. Is there a recorded Elektra like that?
    I can say from the stereo recordings, that that is the Thielemann Dresden performance you see above.
    Last edited by Granate; Jan-27-2020 at 15:51.
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    The only recording I have so far is the Solti recording, but I really like it. The Böhm video recording which has been mentioned is also very good. I'm new to R. Strauss's operas, but I do like Elektra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post
    I can say from the stereo recordings, that that is the Thielemann Dresden performance you see above.
    Thanks. I hoped that might be so!

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    0BCCDF3D-73D0-477A-B677-B639CBF29F2E.jpeg

    My first Elektra recording and it’s even more potent in its latest incarnation on Blu-ray Audio

    F96133D4-F18B-4563-A9F9-96F0083E176D.jpeg

    My second Elektra, Borkh being less of a super-being than Nilsson, but a more girlish powerhouse
    The Staatskapelle Dresden is gorgeous in a different way than the Wiener Philharmoniker


    490C9BAB-BC15-40A7-8131-7C8F50013271.jpeg

    My last Elektra, with the fabulous Wiener Philharmoniker, and gorgeous and powerful voices! Great recording!

    773DF28C-538C-4BF6-9004-EAA8FEEEBE40.jpeg

    Leonie sings ALL the major female roles at various points in her career, from Chrysothemis in 1953, to Klytämnestra in 1996, stunningly in all.

    I wouldn’t want to be without any of these recordings.
    Last edited by MAS; Jan-28-2020 at 20:52. Reason: Corrections

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    AC9B1432-10DB-4A13-B976-C23BC11FA6A3.jpg

    I have this recording but I must confess listening is an endurance test.

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