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Strauss: Elektra / Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Leonie Rysanek, Gundula Janowitz, Regina Resnik, Eberhard Waechter. Karl Böhm (Vienna, 1965)

Notes & Reviews:

Thanks to Nilsson and Böhm, this Elektra at the Vienna State Opera in 1965 was a musical triumph. Not only did they give full rein to the eruptive violence of the sheer acoustic mass that confronts us in Strauss's setting of this ancient tale of vengeance, but they also did justice to the psychological details that the composer teased out of the text.

The Guardian, 7th August 2014
It features one of the most striking casts ever assembled for the work, though some of the individual singers can be heard to better advantage elsewhere...B÷hm himself is at his absolute best, attaining almost unbearable levels of frenzy in places, yet also wonderfully detailed, even with the restricted, mono sound.

MusicWeb International, 14th August 2014
B÷hm was always at his best in live Strauss and this is no exception. Nilsson simply has no equal in the role ... the sound is clear enough for us to hear instrumentalists turning the pages of the score.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2014
[Nilsson] is achingly tender in the recognition scene with Orestes, vividly obsequious as she lures Aegisthus to his death and tireless in her final, fatal dance...like Nilsson, [Resnik] really acts with her voice...[Windgassen] makes a forthright Aegisthus...The conducting is beyond praise.

International Record Review, December 2014
The performance proceeds with a coherence and a unity of purpose that bespeak a true ensemble ... this Elektra achieves its impact through the completeness of its musicality and technical mastery ... With Varnay we get exceptional warmth and womanliness of tone, with Borkh overwhelming fierceness combined with painful vulnerability and a thrilling 'flame' in the voice. Both give full value textually, as does Nilsson ... Highly recommended.


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