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The Originals - R. Strauss: Elektra / Solti, Nilsson, Resnik

Album Summary

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

Notes & Reviews:

BBC Music Magazine
A classic superbly remastered, with Nilsson's searing anti-heroine and Solti building almost unbearable tension. Includes Resnik's raddled Klytaemnestra, Krause's heroic Orest and Marie Collier, at the peak of her career.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Elektra is the most consistently inspired of all Strauss's operas and derives from Greek mythology, with the ghost of Agamemnon, so unerringly delineated in the opening bars, hovering over the whole work. The invention and the intensity of mood are sustained throughout the opera's one-act length, and the characterisation is both subtle and pointed. It's a work peculiarly well suited to Solti's gifts and it's his best recording in the studios. He successfully maintains the nervous tension throughout the unbroken drama and conveys all the power and tension in Strauss's enormously complex score which is, for once, given complete. The recording captures the excellent singers and the Vienna Philharmonic in a warm, spacious acoustic marred only by some questionable electronic effects. Notwithstanding the latter, this is undoubtedly one of the greatest performances on record and sounds even more terrifyingly realistic on this magnificent transfer.

Gramophone Magazine
It is one great strength of the new Decca set, though only one, that the opera is performed quite complete ... Strauss's score is fantasically rich in musical detail of all kinds and Solti lavishes care and insight on every conceivable aspect of it ... the onus of the performance falls firmly on Birgit Nilsson and she carries it as if it were all in a day's work ... this is an amazing impersonation.

Penguin Guide
Nilsson is almost incomparable in the name-part, with the hard side of Elektra's character brutally dominant...she is searingly accurate in approaching the most formidable exposed top notes....Solti's direction [is] sharply focused and brilliant in the savage music which predominates


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Works Details

>Strauss, Richard : Elektra, Op. 58
  • Performers: Marie Collier (Soprano); Jane Cook (Soprano); Tugomir Franc (Bass); Leo Heppe (Bass); Maureen Lehane (Alto); Margarita Lilowa (Mezzo Soprano); Yvonne Minton (Voice); Birgit Nilsson (Voice); Regina Resnik (Mezzo Soprano); Margaret Sjostedt (Voice); Gerhard Stolze (Tenor); Pauline Tinsley (Soprano); Gerhard Unger (Tenor); Helen Watts (Voice); Felicia Weathers (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Georg Solti
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1906-08.
  • Running Time: 101 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1906-1908