Strauss: Elektra - Kuchta, Dalis, Hillebrecht, Melchert, Adam; Ludwig. Hamburg, 1970


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If you love this opera I think you will find that this is one of the most satisfying recordings you have heard in a long time, both for the quality of the performance and the novelty of the cast.  I choose the word novelty because it features first rate singers who were not recorded enough.  In the title role, Gladys Kuchta is simply astonishing not so much for the size of the voice (although it seems like a very large instrument) but more for the fact that she never lets the demands of the role impede her from singing gorgeously, making Elektra seem less like a crazed lunatic and more like the "king's daughter" that she is.  She is well pared with Irene Dalis' Klytämnestra.  Dalis' voice is breathtaking, however, the character she is playing is anything but and she strikes an excellent balance between grotesque and sympathetic ultimately leaving the listener feeling simultaneously disgusted by and sorry for her.  Hildegard Hillbrecht sounds as good as I have ever heard her sing.  Her voice, which could sometimes be a little monochromatic, sounds full and lush.  Theo Adam is a virile Orest.  The sound is excellent.

Irene Dalis sings excerpts from Jenufa, Parsifal & Il Trovatore.

OD 10624-2

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