Strauss: Elektra - Schlüter, Welitsch, Höngen, Widdop, Schöffler; Beecham. London, 1947
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The most remarkable thing about this recording of Elektra is the superb conducting of Sir Thomas Beecham. Beecham manages to bring transparency and lightness to Strauss' massive 110 pierce orchestra without sacrificing any of the impact. In the title role, Erna Schlüter may lack the seductiveness of Inge Borkh or the steely top of Nilsson but her voice is nonetheless tireless and she achieves moments of ravishing beauty particularly during the recognition scene. The great Ljuba Welitsch voice was still quite fresh in 1947 and brings both power and an unexpected girlish quality to Chrysothemis (traits that would later solidify her as the ideal Salome.) Elisabeth Höngen brings air of legitimacy to Klytämnestra's plight playing up the side of wronged wife as opposed to deranged murderess. The sound is quite good for the late forties.