Strauss: Salome - Jones, Ulfung, Bailey, Begg, de Peyer; von Dohnanyi. London, 1974


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Few sopranos possess the beauty (both vocal and physical) and the power to really make an impact as Salome. Gwyneth Jones was one such exception. But there was also more… Jones could have easily relied on her physical and vocal attributes to carry her through the evening. Instead she create a young woman that is both captivating and mysterious. She makes it clear that Salome, despite knowing how to use her youth to her advantage, has a real mean streak which culminates in a final scene in which you get the sense that she might devour the head as opposed to kissing it. Ragnar Ulfung as Herod brings all the menace and nervous energy that made him such great Monostatos in the Ingmar Bergman Magic Flute. As Jochanaan, Norman Bailey delivers fire and brimstone but lacks a little in the glamor department, making it a little difficult to see what Salome sees in him. Heather Begg makes much of her moments as Herodias. The evening is expertly led by Christoph von Dohnányi. The sound is fair to good.

OD 11082-2