Listen to a Sample:
Captured in solid BBC radio sound, this performance of Weber's opera makes the best case for a problematic work. Colin Davis allows the orchestra to simmer in the work's more bucolic sections and then gives a full-throttle explosion in the terrifying sequence in the Wolf's glen. The cast is lead by René Kollo, caught on a good day, as the faustian Max and an almost disturbingly beautiful performance from Kurt Moll as the villainous Kaspar. Hannelore Bode gives pensive, well-spun readings of Agathe's arias, but is rather overshadowed (who wouldn't be?) by Lucia Popp, who gives a sparkling performance in a role that is more often than not irritatingly twee. The presence of Donald McIntyre, Robert Lloyd and Richard Van Allen in smaller roles is true luxury casting, and the great english basso Forbes Robinson is on hand for the demon Samiel's spectral spoken utterances. All in all, a revelatory performance.