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Peter J. Rabinowitz
Fanfare, November 2014

As a totality, this is one of the great Elektra recordings…

[Iréne Theorin’s] singing has force without stridency, accuracy without laboriousness…[and] the vocal strength of the rest of the cast is just as stunning. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Bill White
Fanfare, November 2014

Swedish soprano Iréne Theorin provides plenty of drama and fine dramatic acting…she sings on pitch and is plenty effective…The other four principal singers are all quite excellent: Waltraud Meier as Klytämnestra, Eva-Maria Westbroek as Chrysothemis, Robert Gambill as Aegisth, and René Pape as Orest…I find this Salzburg production quite effective and quite engrossing. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Peter J. Rabinowitz
Fanfare, November 2014

STRAUSS, R.: Elektra (Salzburg Festival, 2010) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) (version with video samplers) 108110
STRAUSS, R.: Salome (Teatro Comunale di Bologna, 2010) (Blu-ray, HD) 108096

This has been a good year for the late Romantics, Strauss in particular. His two turn-of-the-century one-act shockers have been especially well served. All too often, Salome and Elektra are mounted as star turns for the sopranos assuming the title roles. But two new videos feature performances of the secondary characters by singers who can hold their own against the eponymous heroines in a way we rarely experience. Arthaus Musik’s reissue of the 2010 Salzburg Elektra brings as solid a cast as you could rationally wish for in this world, with Iréne Theorin surrounded (and spurred on) by Waltraud Meier (a surprisingly poignant Klytämnestra), Eva-Marie Westbroek (an unusually strongly sung Chrysothemis), and René Pape (an imposing Orest). Nearly as good is the Bologna Salome from the same year: Besides the richly characterized and unerringly sung Salome of late-blooming Erika Sunnegårdh, this production, too, offers luxury casting in the non-titular roles, with Mark S. Doss as a Jokanaan of tremendous authority and Robert Brubaker as a Herod who refuses to go for cheap laughs. Both productions, too, manage to provide fresh visual interest on stage without running against the grain of the music and text. © 2014 Fanfare

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