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Richard Strauss: Elektra / Evelyn Herlitzius, Anne Schwanewilms, Waltraud Meier, Rene Pape

Album Summary

>Strauss, Richard : Elektra, Op. 58
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

In the Strauss anniversary year, this is Deutsche Grammophon's new key audio release: a truly electrifying once in a lifetime performance of Strauss' Elektra in the Berlin Philharmonie from January 2014

The recording features today's dream cast for Elektra: Evelyn Herlitzius, Anne Schwanewilms, Waltraud Meier and René Pape, all under the expert baton of Strauss master Christian Thielemann.

Released on Strauss' 150th birthday (11.06.), it's just in time for Strauss celebrations at opera festivals in Europe.

This is a historic release since the opera was premiered in Dresden in 1909, with the Staatskapelle - and the orchestra recorded it only once before (in 1960: also for DG with Karl Böhm).

New York Times
... with this production the soprano Evelyn Herlitzius confirms her status as perhaps the finest Elektra of her generation.

Sunday Times, 27th July 2014
A must-hear for [Thielemann's] glorious Dresdeners.

The Guardian, 31st July 2014
It may be the most expressionist of all Strauss's scores, but the overriding impression of this recording is the sheer tonal beauty of the Dresden Staatskapelle under Thielemann: the singers often seem to surf on wave after wave of orchestral sumptuousness.

Gramophone Magazine, September 2014
[Thielemann] conducts with flexibility and clarity. There are no major surprises but, paradoxically, his reading never feels predictable either...This is Strauss-playing of the highest quality...Against this background, Herlitzius's vocal performance maybe sounds a little rougher than it might otherwise...but it remains dramatically compelling.

BBC Music Magazine, October 2014
[Herlitzius] isn't afraid to push [her voice] to its limit...Generally, though, she does convey Elektra's switchback emotions with some power...Pape, an equally recurrent Orestes, is sonorous but restrained. So is Waltraud Meier's light-voiced Klytaemnestra...Thielemann seems to favour Teutonically rich sonorities over dramatic thrust.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
The year 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss's birth. To celebrate the occasion, the Dresden Semperoper mounted this new production in the house that saw the premiere of Elektra in 1909. The recording was actually made at a concert performance by the same forces a few days later in Berlin. Another new Elektra, this time on DVD, with the same Elektra and KlytSmnestra, is reviewed in the "Videos" section of this issue.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Berlin Philharmonie (01/28/2014).


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Works Details

>Strauss, Richard : Elektra, Op. 58
  • Performers: Rachel Sorensen (Voice); Simone Schröder (Voice); Nadja McHantaf (Voice); Nadine Secunde (Soprano); Gala Hadidi (Voice); Constance Heller (Voice)
  • Conductor: Christian Thielemann
  • Ensemble: Staatskapelle Dresden
  • Notes: Composition written: 1906-08.
  • Running Time: 99 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1906-1908