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Already brimming with symbols and transformations, the epic fairytale recounted by Strauss and his librettist Hofmannsthal in Die Frau ohne Schatten acquires a further allegorical dimension in Christoph Loy's inventive production for the Salzburg Festival. The central character, the Empress - half-spirit, half-human, and unable to bear children until she finds a shadow - here becomes a young soprano who makes a voyage of personal and professional discovery as she records the opera. A superb cast fulfils the complex vocal and dramatic demands of the piece while Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic rise gloriously to the challenges of Strauss's most ambitious and splendid operatic score.
It is a very well sung and performed recording. The sound quality is very good, a very important issue with this Opera.
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