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Strauss: Elektra [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free]

14 customer reviews

Price: £24.92 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Strauss: Elektra [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free] + Richard Strauss: Salome (Arthaus: 108037) [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
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Product details

  • Actors: Iréne Theorin, Waltraud Meier, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Robert Gambill, René Pape
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: German, Italian, English, French, Spanish, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Feb. 2011
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004KDO2NO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,758 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

With Richard Strauss Elektra, the Salzburg Festival delivers a thoroughly impressive new production that the Vienna daily Kurier calls the best new opera production of 2010. Reaping acclaim are the top-quality vocalists as well as the mighty stage set and the sensitive direction of Nikolaus Lehnhoff. Portraying Elektra is Swedish soprano Iréne Theorin, who injects astonishing dramatic power into her role. Impressive in every respect, wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung about her role debut here. Internationally acclaimed Wagner singer Waltraud Meier also gives her spectacular, commanding stage debut here as Klytämnestra. They are complemented by an outstanding Eva-Maria Westbroek as Chrysothemis, and a forceful René Pape as Orest. Nikolaus Lehnhoffs many years of experience on the worlds greatest stages are clearly visible in his direction of the singers: moving about a sinister, forbidding set bathed in suggestively changing lighting, the vocalists are treated as stage actors, whose expressive gestures are captured with particular vividness and immediacy by the camera. Leading the Wiener Philharmoniker is Daniele Gatti. Alternating between late 19th-century lyricism and early 20th century excess, he clearly emphasizes the dual conflicts at the heart of the work.

Review

a triumph for director Nikolaus Lehnhoff and his distinguished cast of singers. --Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Nikolaus Lehnhoffs new production of Elektra ends with a stroke of genius that arrives with a shock. --Financial Times

This is one of the best Elektras available on DVD;and on Blu-ray,it is superb. Performance ***** Picture and Sound ***** BBC MUSIC DVD CHOICE --BBC Music Magazine,Oct'11

This is an Elektra to inspire reflection. --Opera,Aug'11

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Valentine on 19 April 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The productions of Nickolaus Lehnoff are always interesting and thought provoking, without becoming obscure and a crazy. He always tells the story of the opera he is directing clearly, and anyone coming the opera for the first time either on stage or DVD will have no trouble in following the action and drama. He does not fail in this Salzburg production of Elektra. He has at his command one of the best casts of recent years. Irene Theorin in her opening monologue starts off rather unsteadily, no doubt not helped by the fact that she is required to crouch down and in a sort of hole.(Watch Nilsson in this scene,standing straight, shoulders down, head back and jaw forward directing her gleaming sound straight into the audience) Theorin however goes from strength to strength singing and acting a vivid, wild and often moving performance of this killer role.No doubt one of the finest exponents of the role today. Eva-Maria Westbrook is the soprano of the day,singing many major roles on the majority of the worlds greatest stages. She is a commited and generous singer. I do wonder however if she is taking on some of the big dramatic roles too quickly. (Isolde and Dido on the horizon.) One feels a lack of warmth in her middle register and that special connection that Leonie Rysanek and the young Gwyneth Jones brought to the role of Chrysothemis. Maybe Im being too fussy, but roles like Chrysothemis, Elizabeth (Tannhauser) Sieglinde and Die Kaiserin (Die Frau)should pull at the heart strings and Im afraid as yet, as commited as she is, I dont get this from Westbroek . With the arrival of Waltraud Meier as Klytamnestra,the heat really turns up.Meier recorded Klytamnestra for Barenboim some years ago,but this is her first stage presentation.Read more ›
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Aitken VINE VOICE on 5 Mar. 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a really splendid performance of Elektra, recorded at the Salzburg Festival in 2010. The production of Nikolaus Lehnoff is intelligent and gripping and features a stunning coup de Theatre in the final scene.

Vocally, I doubt whether the cast could be bettered today. Irene Theorin is a sensational Elektra, not since her compatriot Birgit Nilsson, have I heard and seen such a convincing exponent of the role. No surprise that she studied with Nilsson in the past. The role holds no terrors for her and her voice shines resplendent throughout. She is capable of the most beautiful soft singing and the recognition scene with Rene Pape is just wonderful. Waltraud Meier is a deeply troubled Klytemnestra, vocally nuanced and absolutely secure and the Chrysothemis of Eva - Maria Westbroeck is also very fine.

Daniele Gatti produces some exceptional playing from the Vienna Philharmonic, and is particularly adept at bringing out the intricate chamber music qualities of the score as well as rising to the musical climaxes. Although the performance is recorded live from Salzburg, the end of the opera goes directly to the credits without any audience applause, although there certainly must have been some! But this is a minor omission. This is really a superb performance and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr on 7 Jan. 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is the first Blue-ray DVD I have ever seen. It is the best argument for watching opera in this format I can imagine. All the performers are completely inside their roles. They give performances that more than stand up to the intense scrutiny of the camera. Of course, you'd never be this close in the opera house - unless you were on stage with them! It's a real privilege to feel this close to some truly great performances.

Musically, everything is beautifully realised. Theorin and Meier are both subtle and dramatic. They don't just get through the notes. They sing them. They make daring vocal choices that are not dictated by limited technical resources. Westbroek and Pape are also wonderful. The orchestra is superb - and the sound is perfectly balanced.

My only quibble: I would have liked to see the curtain calls. The opera ends - the screen goes black - and that's it. The illusion of being in the opera house vanishes and you're plunged back into the mundane world of the living room!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mc Warwick on 28 Dec. 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
After awaiting a new production of this opera and , especialy with todays dynamic theatre equipment I awaited a spine tingling occasion. Firstly I found the orchestral blare at the beggining wishy washy and the tone was set for a very pristine orchestral accompaniment but with no raw edge at all as this opera demands(Listen to the Solti classic)The violence should definately come through in the music. Strauss himself was noted for saying that it almost caused him a breakdown and never again wanted to return to such tension. Now to the staging! Why bother! A concert performance would have saved time and money. Maybe I was spoilt by the Kupfer production back in the 80,s and expected even better. This opera calls for outrage, violence and grotesque shock waves - all lost or missing in this production. Although the singers all sounded tremendous and none could be faulted, physically they all looked as bored as I was. Such nerve wracking opportunities had been lost. Red and black and thats it. The musical tension with scurrying strings and woodwind at Klytemnestras entrance was wasted without any visual accompaniment on stage. Also the music calls for some kind of grotesque dance from Elektra just before her expiration....she just fell off the back of the platform that she had been rooted to for almost two hours after supposedely killing herself with the axe she had been clutching...how did she forget to give it to Orestes when its the only thing she had contact with?. My advice is to close your eyes and just imagine but then a CD could do that for you!
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