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Valery Gergiev conducts Strauss’ 'Elektra', one of the most powerful operas in the repertoire, accompanied by a superlative cast. Premiered in 1910 at Covent Garden, under the baton of Sir Thomas Beecham, 'Elektra' showcases many, of what were at the time, modernist techniques such as dissonance, chromaticism and fluid tonality but also some of his finest writing. The one-act Greek tragedy was reconstructed by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and his adapted text forms the libretto for the opera. The drama centres around Elektra and her determination to avenge her father’s death. The themes of death, violence, sexual repression and revenge are omnipresent.
American soprano Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet is recognised as a leading force in German and contemporary music repertoire and a great singing actress.
Angela Denoke and Dame Felicity Palmer both possess outstanding pedigrees in Strauss' opera. They are joined by outstanding Lieder specialist Matthias Goerne, making one of his rare forays into operatic repertoire.
Strauss, R: Elektra
i. Wo bleibt Elektra?
iv. Ich kann nicht sitzen
v. Was heulst du?
vi. Was willst Du?
vii. Ich habe keine guten Nachte
viii. Was bluten muss?
ix. Orest! Orest ist tot!
x. Platz da!
xi. Wie stark du bist
xii. Von jetzt an will ich deine Schwester sein
xiii. Nun denn, allein
xiv. Was willst du, fremder Mensch?
xvi. Seid ihr von Sinnen
xvii. He, Lichter!
xviii. Agamemnon hort dich!
xix. Wir sind bei den Gottern
1st July 2012
“This exciting reading is worth a try, if not a classic”
“one feels a distinct frisson with the arrival of Klytaemnestra...Caricature is totally eschewed; however tortured Klytaemnestra may be, Palmer maintains an innate regality in her vocal presence...[Goerne's] text is penetratingly delivered...Storey offers a heroic voice as Aegisthus, for a change, with all the notes truly sounded...One can tell that the LSO rejoices in playing this music...Any Elektra enthusiast will want to hear Goerne and the magnificent Palmer.”
“if vocal discipline is not Charbonnet’s strong suit that may be a virtue in this role...It is difficult to find any faults in Felicity Palmer’s classic Klytämnestra...she is always scrupulously musical and no thoughts of caricature invade one’s attention...[Storey creates] an individual sound for the character of Ägisthus..[Goerne] falls not far short of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in establishing a dark, mysterious presence at his entry”
9th July 2012
“Gergiev grasps the Wagnerian intensity of the score, also capturing the Straussian extremist tendencies with thrilling impact. Thrusting playing by the LSO helps.”
20th July 2012
“Gothic glory lies in the London Symphony Orchestra’s playing: visceral in impact, full of details usually lost in an opera house pit...Charbonnet doesn’t have enough heft at the top for the increasingly unhinged Elektra: the compensation comes in her commitment and passion.”
“[Gergiev] conveys passions and tensions with compelling, sometimes deafening power...[Charbonnet is] strongly involved without, thankfully, overplaying the weirdness...[Palmer's Klytaemnestra is] the real star of this show, slicing through Gergiev's sound-wall with incisive diction and keen characterisation: she's neurotic, malevolent but far from the conventional Germanic witch. Ian Storey makes Aegisth's few lines at once fatuous and menacing.”
“Gergiev has the LSO sailing through metre- and key-changes with almost effortless fluidity, and Strauss's dramaturgical acumen has never seemed clearer...Charbonnet generates plenty of manic excitement with her ultra-aggressive vibrato but...there are many signs of considerable theatrical intelligence; at times her conviction triumphs over her own voice...Goerne is the one vocal marvel here: his Orestes has nobility and morality”
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