Korngold: Die tote Stadt - J. Alexander, Zschau, London, Cordes; Schaenen. Wien, 1967


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For those of you (like myself) who have never tackled this work, this recording makes a very good argument for its merits.  It is shocking that Korngold was just twenty-three when he wrote it.  Although the libretto can verge towards the ponderous, the music never disappoints in lush textures and exotic colors.  The cast is lead by the great John Alexander.  Being adept at the Strauss tenor roles, he seems quite at home with the dizzying tessitura of this part.  Marylin Zschau was at the beginning of her career and sings with freshness on tone and brings an ethereal mysterious quality as Marietta/Marie.  The historical draw of this performance, however, is the Fritz of George London, who was returning to the stage after a bout with vocal troubles.  Ultimately this was a thwarted comeback for the great bass-baritone, but there are still hints of his greatness during Pierrot's Lied.  The sound is very good.

OD 10440-2

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