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  • R. Strauss: Elektra
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R. Strauss: Elektra

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Audio CD, June 26, 2012
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Product Details

  • Performer: Gusta Hammer, Erna Schluter, Annelies Kupper, Robert Hager, Peter Markwort
  • Orchestra: Hamburg Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Eugen Jochum
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (June 26, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Acanta
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,190 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

With the historical recording of Elektra made in 1944 and presented here, the conductor Eugen Jochum clearly shows his affinity for the late romantics. He combines what is aggressively novel in the score with the expressivity of the Strauss style. But the listener is by no means beaten to death by the sound, rather it leads him or her to the essence of the work through a dramaturgical process that is fully in accord with how the sound evolves.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert B. Lamm on August 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I can't believe that I didn't already post a review of this recording, as I listened to it a while back and usually post a review after my first rounds of listening. At any rate, here goes.

I don't remember how I found out about this recording, but I'm glad I did. First, from a historical standpoint, this recording was made in Hamburg in June 1944; I don't have the specific dates, but the proximity of the recording to D-Day, and knowing what must have been going on outside the studio, is enough to send chills up my spine.

From a musical perspective, I won't claim that the recording is as good as some others - and since Elektra is one of my favorite operas, I've listened to quite a few. But it's a damn good recording on its own. First, Jochum isn't known for being a Strauss conductor, but he does a fine, fine job of creating the right level of musical creepiness. The Elektra is Erna Schlüter; apparently, she decided to remain in Germany after the Nazis took over, and her later career suffered for it - she appeared at the Met after the war but was "disappeared," supposedly for political reasons. At any rate, putting politics aside, she is a great Elektra; she has the heft and the soul of the role and sings brilliantly. I tend to judge recordings of Elektra on the basis of two key moments - Elektra's opening aria and the recognition scene with Orest. Both here are thrilling. The other principal singers aren't known commodities either, but they all do a creditable job, at a minimum. Lastly, the sound - it's not great by modern standards, but particularly considering the circumstances in which it was made, it's damn good.

As noted above, I wouldn't say this is my favorite, but I will keep it in my music library and listen to it from time to time. If you love this opera as I do, it's definitely worth getting and keeping.
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