This was my first dip into Korngold. Having loved Richard Strauss for years, I was expecting to love this too and in almost every way, I did! The orchestration is lush, the style is almost 'Strauss meets Puccini' and there is some fantastic singing from the three leads, particularly Eva Marton in ravishing voice and Siegfried Jerusalem, strong and secure with amazing high notes. There's not much subtlety here - its quite a loud assault on the senses from beginning to end with very few quiet moments; this is probably why one of my favourite moments is when Violanta hesitantly suggests the murder to her husband - its very effective.
I deduce a star for lack of a libretto. The synopsis is all very well but for such a wordy piece, it would have been good to know exactly what they were saying. I appreciate that this Sony series is pretty cheap and this is one reason why but, honestly, I'd have happily paid a couple of pounds more for a complete experience. I think it will take another couple of listens to fully appreciate 'Violanta' but I enjoyed it enough to move on to more Korngold!