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Richard Strauss: Salome (Opera in English) Double CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Strauss, R.: Salome (Sung In English) [Opera]
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Audio CD, Double CD, 27 Oct 2008
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Product details

  • Performer: Susan Bullock, Mackerras
  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Mackerras
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (27 Oct. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Chandos (Opera in English)
  • ASIN: B001I3GCE6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,853 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Salome (25 tracks on 2 CD's) - Richard Strauss

Product description

Product Description

Sir Charles Mackerras's recordings are well-established collectors' items. His consistently brilliant reviews confirm that his music-making belies his years, and his new opera recordings have become benchmarks for the Chandos Opera in English series. Chandos's disc of the month sees Sir Charles pick up his baton to conduct leading dramatic soprano, Susan Bullock and the Philharmonia Orchestra in his first ever recording of Richard Strauss's Salome. This is also the premiere recording in English and follows the Grammy win for Hansel and Gretel earlier this year. Richard Strauss is a composer for whom Sir Charles holds in deep affection. He explains ''I'm just amazed that he could have written it [Salome]. Every page has something that hadn't been done before, not even by Wagner. Bitonality, whole tone scales, everything! Endlessly varying the leitmotifs so that they take on different meaning... remarkable, and such a lesson in the use of the orchestra... it's just superb... even if you have not heard a note of Strauss before you will be swept along by the power of the music.'' Susan Bullock has previously performed Salome in the concert format and her performances in the role of Strauss's Elektra have brought her international acclaim. MusicWeb International wrote of her Salome ''we were treated to a show-stealing dramatic performance in which her character's complicated and confused emotions were plainly visible.'' She performs the role of Elektra at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in November.

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Top Customer Reviews

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I know this Opera very well, I have found it gripping and rich with musical ideas, ever since I discovered it when I was a student and had the good fortune of seeing a mesmerising live performance by the WNO in Bristol in the late 80s. I have seen various other performances on DVD and heard a few recordings on CD (my favourite is still Solti's with Nilsson).

I bought this new Chandos set for the simple reason that I do like to follow an opera and understand majority of libretto while I listen. As my german vocabulary is very basic, I have been buying a few of the Chandos releases of the translations into English of german opera.

So, the diction in excellent and therefore for that reason alone, recommendation is forthcoming. The cast is competent, even if not brilliant in terms of characterisation when compared to a lot of other recordings (albeit all in german), they are pitch perfect. The main thing for me that took one "star" away from the review score, is that Salome's casting does not work well for the first half, even if very good in second half. A good performance of the part, in my opinion, needs to start more sweetly in tone, and a certain amount of curiosity in the character, and then as the plot progresses, we need to (see) and hear Salome's descent into uncontrolled combination of scorned anger and vengeful lust. We get the latter in this recording, but at the start the same tone quality is also employed here and makes Salome end up sounding much older and "shouty" than she is in the story. Se sounds angry and shrill from the start, and I was starting to get annoyed until after her encounter with Jokannaan when the mood darkens, at which point the same tone quality becomes fitting of the character in the second half, especially the deranged final soliloquies.

The characters that stand out for great singing are Narraboth, Jokannan and Herod.
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