Strauss: Elektra - Schröder-Feinen, Ligendza, Varnay, Brilioth, Van Dam; Maazel. Berlin, 1972
Listen to a Sample:
Lorin Maazel leads an outstanding cast of veterans and up-and-comers in this unusual yet inspired performance of Elektra. Ursula Shröder-Feinen brings power and vocal beauty to the title role, delivering all dramatic climaxes, as well as expertly-crafted legato lines (particularly during the recognition scene). As Klytämnestra, Astrid Varnay demonstrates that even if her vocal powers might not have been where they were twenty years earlier, her dramatic powers were a strong as ever. Catarina Ligendza’s youthful exuberance makes for a stunning Chrysothemis. José Van Dam brings elegance to Orest’s scene and Helge Brilioth presents an unusually dashing Ägisth. Lorin Maazel’s approach is considered and at times somewhat academic, but he knows how to evoke the optimal sound from an orchestra particularly in romantic music. The sound is fair to good. There is some light static that develops about 45 minutes in and remains for the rest of the opera.