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Elektra [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: German, Italian, English, French, Spanish, Japanese
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • Release Date: March 29 2011
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B004KDO2OI
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Amazon.com: HASH(0xa49c7db0) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa444009c) out of 5 stars A Superb Elektra April 18 2011
By DDD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This Salzburg performance of Elektra has been cast with major voices and should go to the top of the list of available performances. Of course had DVD been available fifty years ago two names could easily have trumped all the existing versions: Borkh and Varnay. But we must deal with reality and focus on what Theorin, Westbroek, Pape and Meier bring to the proceedings. Elektra is a very difficult role, one that I hope Theorin will not sing that often. It truly stretches her to the outer limits of her abilities, but having said that it is a performance in which she is truly committed which to some degree can compensate for any vocal frailties or shortcomes.

Theorin's Elektra (there is also another new DVD featuring Linda Watson, but I have not heard it) is the most recent entry. She gives a thoroughly involved performance. There is not a moment when she fails to convey her hatred for her mother and her contempt for her sister. True there are a couple of moments vocally when she is taxed beyond her capabilities but overall she is superior to Johanssen in the Zurich performance and vocally more steady than Marton in the Kupfer production in Vienna. Had Nilsson been able to commit the role to film ten years earlier--1970 rather than 1980 we doubtless would have had a performance for the ages; as it is the document that we have is not the Nilsson I remember in her prime; Actually Nilsson had to be heard live in the house as any recording in some way compromised her voice.

The production is by Lenhoff which means that you are going to have to deal with his need to update the setting. In this case the updating is less expreme than, say, Lohengrin or Dialogue of the Carmelites. The setting is severes and appropriate: a stone courtyard with a severely raked stage. The sidewalls are at angles resemblinig German expressionism in the films of the twenties. Costuming is somewhat era-vague although very definitely not "Grecian. Elektra wears a dress that is simple and plain. Her sister's dress is similar except that the color is a vivid purple. Clytemnestra arrives wearing a turban and a red coat with a large collar of feathers. She also sports dark glasses, retro style. Orestes wears a(by now) standard regie leather jacket, knee length. Aegist in a business suit. Elektra also wears, carries or puts it on the floor an overcoat (leather) Any significance? Your guess is as good as mine. At the end she gives it to Orestes.

Fortunately the Lenhoff touches do not detract from the performanace as they so in other productions, e.g., Lohengrin and Parsifal--although I must admist i liked the latter. What remains are the performances of the three women. Theorin's voice is probably not as large as Nilsson's or Marton's and she does not have Nilsson's laser like instrument. She also emulates her Swedish countryman in that she also sings Turandot--again a role that one could question. Westbroek is a superb Chrysothemnis, the possessor of a warm lyrico spinto voice. She matches Theorin in commmitment. Meier is an artist who has never failed to deliver in the appropriate fach. The voice is no longer plush--all those Isolde's have taken a toll, but it is rather refreshing to see Clytemnestra not "dressed down" as it were. Dramatically she is demonic. Pape's Orestes ;is gloriously sung--could it be otherwise?

Usually the booklet accompanying the disc will state that the DVD is drived from performancees over a number of days. All that is provided is that the production was lived the large theatre, Salzburg Festival 2010. There is no applause at the end so that presumably it was a dress rehearsal--at least that portion. After a performance such as this the applause would have been in order.