Strauss: Elektra - Silja, Madeira, Brouwenstijn, Voutsinos, Moeller; Rennert. Scheveningen, 1966


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Being an inveterate Anja Silja fan, I was over-joyed to come across this recording. Anja Silja made an early splash singing roles like Elektra and Isolde while still in her early 20s, eschewing the conventional wisdom that one should wait until they are in their 50s. This recording bares out that Silja had not only the power to do justice to this, the hardest of all soprano roles, but also the rare ability to convey a fragile young woman, instead of the usual "Valkyrie-on-steroids" approach for which most exponents of this role opt. Gré Brouwenstijn is an excellent foil for Silja and the two actually sound like they could be sisters. Jean Madeira possessed all the requisite traits to be a Klytämnestra for the ages; namely a dramatic mezzo voice of incomparable lushness and beauty and the dramatic integrity to sacrifice that beauty to properly convey her character's grotesque side. The sound is fair to good.

OD 10753-2

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