Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten - Hillebrecht, Borkh, King, McIntyre, Resnik; Solti, London, 1967
Listen to a Sample:
This performance comes from what can be known as the great "FROSCH" revival of the sixties. It was a time when the main roles seemed to be owned by a small group of singers including Rysanek, Ludwig, King and Walter Berry. This set shows that others had relevant points of view with regards to this opera. It may seem strange to start with the role of the Amme, but it was obvious to me from the get-go that Regina Resnik was the true stand-out of this cast. It is a shame that she didn't sing it more because it lends itself well to her voice with the extremes of range, and of course the character that she brought to all of her roles, especially those that flirt with the grotesque. Hildegard Hillebrecht sings the title role. Her voice is ethereal although a little monochromatic. Still it is worth pointing out the she manages the tessitura unflinchingly including the notorious high D in her opening scene. Lovers of this opera do not need me to sing the praises of James King's Kaiser. He is the answer to all those who claim that Strauss tenor roles are unsingable. Inge Borkh was nearing the end of her brief career, and there are moments of struggle here for her; elsewhere, where the demands of the tessitura are less, she manages to show off her voluptuous voice to good effect. Donald McIntyre's gruff baritone is a good fit as Barak. Sir Georg Solti takes the opera on the brisk side and seems to pull all the sound and intensity possible from the orchestra. The sound is very good. There is a small omission in Act II and the first 5 seconds are missing.