R. STRAUSS Elektra / Herlitzius,  Thielemann

Share

RICHARD STRAUSS

Elektra
Evelyn Herlitzius · Anne Schwanewilms
Waltraud Meier · René Pape
Staatskapelle Dresden
Christian Thielemann
Int. Release 11 Jun. 2014
2 CDs / Download
0289 479 3387 8 2 CDs DDD GH2
Recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie


Track List

CD 1: Strauss, R.: Elektra

Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)
Elektra, Op.58

Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Nadine Secunde, Nadja Mchantaf, Gala El Hadidi, Christa Mayer, Constance Heller, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Evelyn Herlitzius, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

3.
2:20

Anne Schwanewilms, Evelyn Herlitzius, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Evelyn Herlitzius, Anne Schwanewilms, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Waltraud Meier, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Evelyn Herlitzius, Waltraud Meier, Romy Petrick, Christiane Hossfeld, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Waltraud Meier, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Evelyn Herlitzius, Waltraud Meier, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Total Playing Time 51:49

CD 2: Strauss, R.: Elektra

Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)
Elektra, Op.58

Evelyn Herlitzius, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Anne Schwanewilms, Evelyn Herlitzius, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Simeon Esper, Matthias Henneberg, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Evelyn Herlitzius, Anne Schwanewilms, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Evelyn Herlitzius, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Evelyn Herlitzius, René Pape, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

René Pape, Evelyn Herlitzius, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

9.
8:44

Evelyn Herlitzius, René Pape, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Peter Lobert, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Evelyn Herlitzius, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Anne Schwanewilms, Constance Heller, Gala El Hadidi, Christa Mayer, Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

14.
5:36

Frank van Aken, Evelyn Herlitzius, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Anne Schwanewilms, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Evelyn Herlitzius, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Anne Schwanewilms, Evelyn Herlitzius, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Evelyn Herlitzius, Anne Schwanewilms, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Total Playing Time 52:21

. . . the overriding impression of this recording is the sheer tonal beauty of the Dresden Staatskapelle under Thielemann: the singers often seem to surf on wave after wave of orchestral sumptuousness . . . a very fine cast . . . [Herlitzius is] tirelessly engaged in the drama . . .

. . . [in their playing in this performance] the Staatskapelle's musicians honor their ensemble's reputation. The passing years have in no way diminished the celebrated brilliance of the Staatskapelle's playing, and the levels of accuracy and sheer dedication that the musicians impart in the music of Strauss are unchanged since the days when their efforts were guided by the greatest of Strauss interpreters, Karl Böhm. All sections of the orchestra contribute unfailingly musical readings of their parts, and Strauss's most astringent harmonies retain tonal beauty that makes them all the more emotionally pungent. Nothing is exploited in pursuit of cheap effects, and the precision of ensemble and clarity in even the most explosive passages are especially remarkable in the context of a recording of a live performance. Christian Thielemann . . . seems to have dutifully absorbed both the gravity and the grandeur of the Staatskapelle's traditions. Stewarding the orchestra's sterling playing and the strong singing of the Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden, Maestro Thielemann shapes a performance that offers the soloists a fertile musical garden in which to cultivate a compelling account of "Elektra" . . . Ms. Secunde is as acquainted with Strauss's music as any singer in this cast. Her familiarity with the score reveals itself in an insightful use of text, and she sings powerfully . . . As the quintet of gossiping Maids, Constance Heller, Gala El Hadidi, Simone Schröder, Rachel Willis-Sorensen, and Nadja Mchantaf sing impressively, and their performances are paralleled by the subtly-characterized Young and Old Servants of Simeon Esper and Matthias Henneberg. Romy Petrick and Christiane Hossfeld make much of little as Klytämnestra's Confidante and Trainbearer. Peter Lobert creates a spirited vignette as Orest's tutor: his animated performance personifies the "ein starker Greis mit blitzenden Augen" ("powerful old man with flashing eyes") described in Hugo von Hofmannsthal's libretto . . . [van Aken] easily assumes a place among the most satisfactory Aegisths on disc . . . [Waltraud Meier]: this extraordinary singer dominates this performance with stirringly original journeys through both Klytämnestra's music and her psyche. From her first entrance, this Klytämnestra is for all her understandable insecurity every inch a queen . . . Ms. Herlitzius's cries of "Agamemnon" are ferocious in their visceral grief and anger, and she descends to the lower reaches of the music with rounded tone . . . The ringing authority of Ms. Herlitzius's singing in the Recognition Scene is tremendous . . . [Like Ms. Meier, Herlitzius] penetrates far beneath the surface of her rôle. Digging deeply into the nuances of Hofmannsthal's text and the wonders of Strauss's music in passages like "Schleppst du dich hierher in meinen traurigen Winkel, Herold des Unglücks" and "Ich will nicht wissen, wer du bist", she uncovers a seldom-glimpsed vulnerability in Elektra . . . Vocally, Ms. Herlitzius covers her music's two octaves with vigor and panache, and she strives diligently to create a character who is more maligned than manic and who is discernibly both her father's and her mother's daughter . . . The grand success of this impeccably-prepared, expertly-executed, and masterfully-recorded performance is the manner in which the cast, especially Evelyn Herlitzius and Waltraud Meier, portray these brutal figures of myth as people rather than cold archetypes. They might be residents of any place or time with an appetite for families with sordid secrets and rotting skeletons in their closets. This is surely what Strauss and Hofmannsthal envisioned, and is this universality not also the very soul of opera?

. . . [der apokalyptische Klang, in dem Köpfe rollen, wird von Christian Thielemann im Berliner Live-Mitschnitt] erstaunlich süffig genommen. Gar nicht schwer oder klotzig. Das vermag er dank der phantastischen Staatskapelle Dresden . . . Evelyn Herlitzius ist die wohl erste Sängerin der Titelpartie, die dem Diven- und Zickenkrieg kindlich neurotische Töne verleiht. Sie ist nicht nur eine ungewohnt exklamative, eigentlich expressionistische Sängerin. Sondern sie verfügt über ein mädchenhaftes, beinahe pubertäres Timbre, wodurch das Rachedrama Züge einer jugendlichen Hebephrenie annimmt: als Mädchen-Psychose. Was ja höchst originell ist . . . [es handelt] sich um die wohl beste Thielemann-Operngesamtaufnahme bislang.

Thielemanns "Elektra" als klingender Wunderkasten . . . Die Staatskapelle spielt bewundernswert flexibel in Farbe und Dynamik . . . Da werden munter vokale Flammen gezündet . . . ausdrucksvoll, stellenweise radikal und doch immer noch mit einem wachsen Sinn vor Tonschönheit, besonders bei René Pape, der einen gewissen belcantistischen Einschlag nicht verleugnen kann.

Quand on connaît les liens du compositeur allemand avec cette vénérable institution, on mesure pleinement l'importance historique de l'événement. Et de fait, la splendeur orchestrale de la célèbre Staatskapelle constitue un des atouts majeurs de cette nouvelle version . . . Sous la baguette experte et inspirée de Christian Thielemann, la phalange saxonne déchaîne des torrents de passion, tout en privilégiant l'intimité des échanges entre personnages et en soulignant les subtilités structurelles de l'ouvrage . . . la lecture du chef allemand a encore gagné en lisibilité et en intensité. Le plateau est l'un des meilleurs que l'on puisse réunir à l'heure actuelle . . . [Evelyn Herlitzius est] une Electre dont l'engagement dramatique est absolument total . . . À mille lieues de toute caricature, Waltraud Meier campe quant à elle une Clytemnestre que l'on imagine encore jeune . . . Son chant sobre et soigné la démarque des titulaires habituelles du rôle . . . la meilleure prestation vocale féminine vient indubitablement de la radieuse Chrysothemis d'Anne Schwanewilms, dont le soprano clair, solaire et ardent apporte quelque lumière dans ce drame des plus sombres. La relative "frigidité" de son engagement contraste efficacement avec le torrent émotionnel libéré par ses deux consoeurs. Côté messieurs, on saluera tout particulièrement la noblesse vocale de René Pape, Oreste à l'instrument plus noir que de coutume. Frank van Aken . . interprète avec justesse et sobriété. L'excellente tenue des seconds rôles . . . confirme le soin extrême accordé à cette réalisation remarquable à plus d'un titre.