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Strauss: Salome / Schonwandt, Nielsen, Hale, Goldberg, et al

Album Summary

>Strauss, Richard : Salome, Op. 54
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Inga Nielsen is a Salome of quite exceptional talent, even inspiration. Better than any of her predecessors she creates a princess who sounds credibly teenaged with surely just the pearl-like yet needle-sharp tone Strauss intended. Nobody has so convincingly conveyed the impression of a spoilt, petulant innocent with the will and determination to get her way - and then exploited her manipulative character to frightening effect as, sexually awakened, Salome becomes obsessed with the body of Jokanaan. In a performance that's vocally stunning from Salome's first entrance, Nielsen fashions her reading with supreme intelligence in her response to words and notes. Throughout she sings keenly, even maliciously off the text. While still having nothing but praise for Studer's beautifully sung portrayal on the Sinopoli set - her tone is more refulgent, less narrow than Nielsen's but she isn't so much inside the role - or for Nilsson's vocally overwhelming portrayal for Solti, Nielsen simply seems a Salome by nature, made for the part.

Happily Nielsen's riveting interpretation receives suitable support. Schønwandt yields to none of his illustrious predecessors in impressing on us the still-extraordinary originality, fascination and tense horror of Strauss's score. From start to finish, including an electrifying account of the Dance, his is a fierily direct, highly charged yet never vulgar reading. Hale, who has part- nered Nielsen in this work at the Brussels Opera, is a noble-sounding, resolute Jokanaan of long experience. Although he doesn't attempt the larger-than-life, tremendous performance of Terfel for Sinopoli, and his tone isn't as steady, his reading is surely more of a piece with the opera as a whole. Goldberg is just right as the degraded, superstitious, lecherous Herod, vocally astute and characterful. Silja is a well-routined, if sometimes over-the-top Herodias.

Chandos provides a recording of extraordinary range and breadth, yet one that makes sure that the singers take stage front. Anyone who already has the highly regarded Sinopoli version will probably not feel the need to invest in this set, but newcomers are urged to hear it. Even though other elements are well taken care of on earlier versions, Nielsen is really unmissable.

Penguin Guide
Nielsen is a superb Salome, pingingly precise in her vocal attack...The result is a portrayal with all the strength needed, not least for the unrelenting malevolence at the end, but leaving one with the impression of a character still young...Smaller roles are also well cast.


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Works Details

>Strauss, Richard : Salome, Op. 54
  • Performers: Henriette Bonde-Hansen (Soprano); Sten Byriel (Bass Baritone); Reiner Goldberg (Tenor); Peter Gronlund (Voice); Robert Hale (Bass Baritone); Ole Hedegaard (Tenor); Gert Henning-Jensen (Tenor); Per Hoyer (Bass Baritone); Anders Jakobson; Michael Kristensen (Tenor); Morten Larsen (Baritone); Stephen Milling (Bass); Inga Nielsen (Soprano); Bent Norup (Baritone); Marianne Rorholm (Soprano); Anja Silja (Soprano); Deon Van der Walt (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Michael Schoenwandt
  • Ensemble: Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark (08/18/1997-08/29/1997)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1903-1905