BERG Lulu / Stratas, Minton, Schwarz, Boulez 4636172

In 1979, the Paris Opera's staging of the complete Lulu was hailed as an all-round artistic triumph - winning a Gramophone Award in 1979 - and, 20 years on, there's no doubt that the recording wears its age well. This is as much to do with the vocal as the orchestral contribution. Teresa Stratas, soon to retire from the stage, breathes a meta-reality into the title role; she is not only seductress and heroine, but also a mirror reflecting each of the other protagonists. [...] Boulez directs with unobtrusive mastery, the clear, neutral sound not at all inappropriate. [...] This remains the version of Lulu to have.

The essential recording of Berg's Lulu is Pierre Boulez's . . . Teresa Stratas is Boulez's incandescent Lulu.

. . . [a] version immortalised here under the baton of Pierre Boulez. Teresa Stratas is an unforgettable Lulu.