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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Recorded live at the Royal Swedish Opera in 1996, the Naxos version offers a warmly expressive reading, bringing out the ripeness of melodic writing. The recording too is admirably clear, with more orchestral details than in the vintage first recording under Leinsdorf. The tenor, Thomas Sunnegardh, sings cleanly and freshly in the central role of Paul, with Anders Bergstrom youthfully convincing as his friend, Frank. Yet the glory of the set is the singing of Katarina Dalayman as Marietta—radiantly pure and tender in Marietta’s song in Act I—which even outshines the model of Carol Neblett on RCA. The snag is that Segerstam observes various cuts in the score, omitting some 15 minutes of music. Naxos provide a details synopsis and a German libretto, but no translation

Richard Dyer
The Boston Globe, February 2002

"Early in the last century the young Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) was acclaimed in his native Vienna as the greatest musical genius since Mozart. His opera 'Die tote Stadt,' composed when he was 23, went around the world. He fled from Hitler's Europe to America and wound up in Hollywood, where he won acclaim as the greatest of all composers for the movies. His success in Hollywood did not enhance his status as a concert and opera composer, although in recent years there has been a renewal of interest in his 'serious' music."

Lawrence A. Johnson
Fanfare, December 1997

"the well-recorded Swedish Opera Orchestra shows itself to be a very fine group of musicians indeed.....the performance surges with life...Katerina Dalayman is a superb Marietta, not only does she have a ravishing voice and sings beautifully, but she projects the sensuality of the character... another triumph for Naxos; their recording captures the magic and mystery of this glorious opera"

Jessica Duchen
BBC Music Magazine, September 1997

"Full marks to Naxos for bringing out only the second recording of Korngold's best and best-known opera. A good, budget-price version will certainly help to bring this glorious work to a wider audience. ...Leif Segerstam has a fine feeling for the breadth and depth of Korngold's intricate orchestrations and the nervous, erotic tension of his personal form of expressionism."

Michael Tanner
Classic CD, August 1997

"This set from Naxos really does him [Korngold] proud....The result is addictive music, certainly when performed with this degree of loving care. Leif Segerstam has the measure of this idiom...the dancer exquisitely taken by Katarina Dalayman. Listen to this and you will be hooked on the work"

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