Author Topic: Strauss: Elektra  (Read 4591 times)

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Offline MDL

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Strauss: Elektra
« on: March 07, 2010, 04:06:55 AM »
I've only got one recording of Strauss's Elektra - Solti's classic Decca set. I understand that while the Solti is complete, most recordings of Elektra are cut. So a few questions:

1) Does anybody know which sections are missing from, say, Ozawa's or Sinopoli's recordings?

2) Which recordings are complete? I think the EMI Sawallisch is uncut. Any others?

3) Did anybody attend the Gergiev LSO performances, due out on CD soon? Were they complete?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 04:38:08 AM by MDL »

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2010, 06:48:12 AM »
1) Does anybody know which sections are missing from, say, Ozawa's or Sinopoli's recordings?

Someone asked this at another forum back in 2007.  I'd been meaning to check it out myself, so I checked the Ozawa and Barenboim recordings.  I think the cuts Ozawa makes are pretty much standard, Barenboim, as noted, doesn't take the first one.  The page and rehearsal numbers are from the Dover full orchestra score.  I've also included the text, with the cut portions in red.  Unfortunately, at some point when the forum I posted this to was updated, they stripped all posts of any letters with diacritcals.  I'm too lazy to correct it.

Quote
FIRST CUT (oddly, Barenboim doesn't make this cut, though most conductors do)

p. 151, Rehearsal #225 to p. 153, #228

Klytmnestra: Du hast dich schon verraten,
dass du das rechte Opfer weisst und auch
die Bruche, die mir ntzen. Sagst du's nicht
im Freien, wirst du's an der Kette sagen.
Sagst du nicht satt, so sagst du's hungernd. Trume
sind etwas, das man los wird. Wer dran leidet
und nicht das Mittel findet, sich zu heilen,
ist nur ein Narr.
Ich finde mir heraus,
wer bluten muss, damit ich wieder schlafe.

SECOND CUT

p. 162 Rehearsal #240 to p.171 Rehearsal #255

Elektra: Und ich, ich, ich, ich, ich, die ihn dir geschickt,
ich bin wie ein Hund an deiner Ferse, willst du
in eine Hhle, spring ich dich von seitwrts
an. So treiben wir dich fort, bis eine Mauer
Alles sperrt, und dort -- im tiefsten Dunkel,
doch ich seh ihn wohl, ein Schatten, und doch Glieder
und das Weisse von einem Auge doch, da sitzt
der Vater, er achtet's nicht, und doch muss es geschehn,
zu seinen Fssen drcken wir dich hin.
Du mchtest schreien, doch die Luft erwrgt
den ungebornen Schrei und lsst ihn lautlos
zu Boden fallen, wie von Sinnen hlst du
den Nacken hin, fhlst schon die Schrfe zukken
bis an den Sitz des Lebens, doch er hlt
den Schlag zurck: die Bruche sind noch nicht erfllt.
alles schweigt, du hrst dein eignes Herz
an deinen Rippen schlagen: diese Zeit
-- sie dehnt sich vor dir wie ein finstrer Schlund
von Jahren -- diese Zeit ist dir gegeben
zu ahnen, wie es Scheiternden zu Mute ist,
wenn ihr vergebliches Geschrei die Schwrze
der Wolken und des Tods zerfrisst, diese Zeit
ist dir gegeben, alle zu beneiden,
die angeschmiedet sind an Kerkermauern,
die auf dem Grund von Brunnen nach dem Tod
als wie nach Erlsung schrei'n -- denn du,
du liegst in deinem Selbst so eingekerkert,
als wr's der glhnde Bauch von einem Tier
von Erz -- und so wie jetzt kannst du nicht schrein!
da steh' ich
vor dir, und nun liest du mit starrem Aug'
das ungeheure Wort, das mir in mein
Gesicht geschrieben ist:
erhngt ist dir die Seele in der selbst-
gedrehten Schlinge, sausend fllt das Beil,
und
ich steh' da und seh' dich endlich sterben!

THIRD CUT

p. 212 #59a to p.217, 4 bars after #68a

Elektra: Wie du mich abwehrst,
fhl' ich, was das fr Arme sind. Du knntest
erdrkken, was du an dich ziehst. Du knntest
mich, oder einen Mann in deinen Armen
erstikken, berall
ist so viel Kraft in dir! Sie strmt wie khles
verhaltnes Wasser aus dem Fels. Sie flutet
mit deinen Haaren auf die starken Schultern
herab.
Ich spre durch die Khle deiner Haut
das warme Blut hindurch, mit meiner Wange
spr ich den Flaum auf deinen jungen Armen.
Du bist voller Kraft, du bist schn,
du bist wie eine Frucht an der Reife Tag.

Chrysothemis: Lass mich!
Elektra: Nein: ich halte dich!

FOURTH CUT

p. 227, #89a to p. 235, #102a

Chrysothemis:: Nicht, Schwester, nicht.
Sprich nicht ein solches Wort in diesem Haus.
Elektra:
O ja! weit mehr als Schwester bin ich dir
von diesem Tage an: ich diene dir
wie deine Sklavin. Wenn du liegst in Weh'n,
sitz ich an deinem Bette Tag und Nacht,
wehr' dir die Fliegen, schpfe khles Wasser,
und wenn auf einmal auf dem nackten Schoss
dir ein Lebendiges liegt, erschreckend fast,
so heb' ich's empor, so hoch! damit
sein Lcheln hoch von oben in die tiefsten
geheimsten Klfte deiner Seele fllt
und dort das letzte, eisig Grssliche
vor dieser Sonne schmilzt und du's in hellen
Trnen ausweinen kannst.
Chrysothemis: O bring' mich fort!
Ich sterb' in diesem Haus!
Elektra (an den Knieen der Chrysothemis):
Dein Mund ist schn,
wenn er sich einmal auftut um zu zrnen!
Aus deinem reinen starken Mund muss furchtbar
ein Schrei hervorsprh'n, furchtbar wie der Schrei
der Todesgttin, wenn man unter dir
so daliegt, wie nun ich.
Chrysothemis
Was redest du?
Elektra (aufstehend):
Denn eh du diesem Haus
und mir entkommst, musst du es tun!

(Chrysothemis will reden).
(Elektra hlt ihr den Mund zu)

Dir fhrt
kein Weg hinaus als der. Ich lass' dich nicht,
eh du mir Mund auf Mund es zugeschworen,
dass du es tun wirst.

FIFTH CUT

p. 237, #104a, to p. 240, #108a

Elektra (fasst sie wieder):
Schwr', du kommst
heut Nacht, wenn alles still ist, an den Fuss
der Treppe.
Chrysothemis:
Lass mich!
Elektra (hlt sie am Gewand):
Mdchen, strub' dich nicht!
es bleibt kein Tropfen Blut am Leibe haften:
schnell schlpfst du aus dem blutigen Gewand
mit reinem Leib ins hochzeitliche Hemd.
Chrysothemis:
Lass mich!
Elektra:
Sei nicht zu feige! Was du jetzt
an Schaudern berwindest, wird vergolten
mit Wonneschaudern Nacht fr Nacht --
Chrysothemis:
Ich kann nicht!
Elektra:
Sag, dass du kommen wirst!
Chrysothemis:
Ich kann nicht!
Elektra:
Sieh,
ich lieg' vor dir, ich ksse deine Fsse!

Chrysothemis (ins Haustor entspringend): Ich kann nicht!
Elektra: Sei verflucht!
(mit wilder Entschlossenheit)
Nun denn allein!

SIXTH CUT

p. 284, six bars after #166a, to p287, bar 171a

Elektra: Verstehst du's, Bruder? diese sssen Schauder
hab' ich dem Vater opfern mssen. Meinst du,
wenn ich an meinem Leib mich freute, drangen
seine Seufzer, drang nicht sein Sthnen
an mein Bette? Eiferschtig sind
die Toten: und er schickte mir den Hass,
den hohlugigen Hass als Brutigam.
So bin ich eine Prophetin immerfort gewesen
und habe nichts hervorgebracht aus mir
und meinem Leib als Flche und Verzweiflung.
Was schaust du ngstlich um dich? sprich zu mir!
sprich doch! Du zitterst ja am ganzen Leib!


2) Which recordings are complete? I think the EMI Sawallisch is uncut. Any others?

Yes, Solti and EMI Sawallisch are uncut.  I've read that Bychkov's is as well, though I've never heard it, and haven't really heard much about it:  http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Strauss-Elektra-Hybrid-SACD/dp/B000BM3MO8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1267970979&sr=1-1

3) Did anybody attend the Gergiev LSO performances, due out on CD soon? Were they complete?

I hadn't even heard about this (even though, as you may have guessed, I'm a bit obsessed with this opera ;D), but found a review that says they were uncut:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/jan/13/elektra-review
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Offline knight66

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2010, 08:42:22 AM »
No doubt it can be addressed, but the reviews of the Gergiev concert that I read dwelt on the balance problems between the unbridled orchestra and the struggle by some singers to be heard.

Mike
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 08:47:48 AM by knight »
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Offline MDL

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2010, 02:43:27 PM »
1) Does anybody know which sections are missing from, say, Ozawa's or Sinopoli's recordings?

Someone asked this at another forum back in 2007.  I'd been meaning to check it out myself, so I checked the Ozawa and Barenboim recordings.  I think the cuts Ozawa makes are pretty much standard, Barenboim, as noted, doesn't take the first one.  The page and rehearsal numbers are from the Dover full orchestra score.  I've also included the text, with the cut portions in red.  Unfortunately, at some point when the forum I posted this to was updated, they stripped all posts of any letters with diacritcals.  I'm too lazy to correct it.


2) Which recordings are complete? I think the EMI Sawallisch is uncut. Any others?

Yes, Solti and EMI Sawallisch are uncut.  I've read that Bychkov's is as well, though I've never heard it, and haven't really heard much about it:  http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Strauss-Elektra-Hybrid-SACD/dp/B000BM3MO8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1267970979&sr=1-1

3) Did anybody attend the Gergiev LSO performances, due out on CD soon? Were they complete?

I hadn't even heard about this (even though, as you may have guessed, I'm a bit obsessed with this opera ;D), but found a review that says they were uncut:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/jan/13/elektra-review


Brilliant reply! Exactly the info I was after. Thanks. I knew there had to be some discussion on this topic lurking somewhere in a past/present incarnation of GMG, but I was having trouble tracking it down. Let's not worry too much about missing diacriticals, hey?  ;D

Offline MDL

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2010, 02:53:33 PM »
No doubt it can be addressed, but the reviews of the Gergiev concert that I read dwelt on the balance problems between the unbridled orchestra and the struggle by some singers to be heard.

Mike

I'd heard some reports along those lines too. Apparently it was a very exciting evening if you wanted to hear the LSO let rip but a bit of a mixed bag if you wanted to hear what the singers were up to. I'm sure it'll be sorted out in the mix!


Offline MDL

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2010, 02:55:51 PM »
Sinopoli's recording received some great reviews even though it was cut. It's just been re-released by Brilliant (or it will be soon). How does it compare to the Ozawa?

Offline Superhorn

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 08:33:22 AM »
   I too prefer the opera uncut, but the role of Elektra is so punishing for sopranos it's usually performed with cuts. But there's absolutely no excuse for this in recordings.
  I hear that LSO live will be releasing the Gergiev performance sometime soon, and I look forward to hearing it. Perhaps the recording will be able to fix any balance problems.
  Of the recordings ,I've heard the ones by Solti, Sawallisch,Bohm, and Ozawa , and I also have a live Cologne radio perforamnce on Gala with
 Varnay,Rysanek and Hotter conducted by Richard Kraus(no relation to the more famous Clemens who unfortunately never recorded the opera),I believe with cuts.  All have much to offer, but Solti catches the brass ring.
   Let's hope Christian Thielemann can give us a great Elektra sometime on DG,perhaps in Dresden where he's headed. Uncut,please.
  Also, I hear that Chandos may record Elektra in English soon with Sir Charles Mackerras, who has already done Salome in English for them.
  That should be interesting.

Offline val

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2010, 02:46:16 AM »
I prefer the version of Solti. Very violent and contrasted, it offers the extraordinary performance of Birgit Nilsson and the best interpreter of Clythemnestra, Regina Resnik - I saw her on stage in this role and it was very, very impressive.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2010, 07:05:31 AM »
I prefer the version of Solti. Very violent and contrasted, it offers the extraordinary performance of Birgit Nilsson and the best interpreter of Clythemnestra, Regina Resnik - I saw her on stage in this role and it was very, very impressive.

I saw them both at Covent Garden during my European hippie trek in 1972. Solti conducted; Helga Dernesch Chrysothemis. I'd bought the Solti recording a few months before. Until this week I've felt no need to own any other version. But when I saw Sinopoli's could be had for €6.99 at amazon.de, I ordered it. It arrived today. I don't expect Marc and Schwarz will make me forget Nilsson and Resnik but I am interested in Sinopoli and his orchestra's contribution. Gramophone says, "Barenboim's recording allowed us to hear so much of the detail of this highly coloured and frenetic score. Sinopoli and the DG team have gone even further in exposing the panoply of sound Strauss conjured from his vast orchestra in the most vivid sound yet." Sounds just the thing for this Strauss junkie  ;D

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« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 07:07:38 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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Offline MDL

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 05:20:36 AM »
but I am interested in Sinopoli and his orchestra's contribution. Gramophone says, "Barenboim's recording allowed us to hear so much of the detail of this highly coloured and frenetic score. Sinopoli and the DG team have gone even further in exposing the panoply of sound Strauss conjured from his vast orchestra in the most vivid sound yet." Sounds just the thing for this Strauss junkie  ;D

Sarge

I'm interested in the Sinopoli for the same reason. As a Mahler/Schoenberg junkie in my youth, I used to be a bit dismissive of Strauss, but the more I hear of his work, the more I realise my mistake. The orchestral sonorities in his operas and tone poems are astounding and endlessly fascinating.

Offline Guido

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2011, 12:29:57 PM »
I saw them both at Covent Garden during my European hippie trek in 1972. Solti conducted; Helga Dernesch Chrysothemis. I'd bought the Solti recording a few months before. Until this week I've felt no need to own any other version. But when I saw Sinopoli's could be had for €6.99 at amazon.de, I ordered it. It arrived today. I don't expect Marc and Schwarz will make me forget Nilsson and Resnik but I am interested in Sinopoli and his orchestra's contribution. Gramophone says, "Barenboim's recording allowed us to hear so much of the detail of this highly coloured and frenetic score. Sinopoli and the DG team have gone even further in exposing the panoply of sound Strauss conjured from his vast orchestra in the most vivid sound yet." Sounds just the thing for this Strauss junkie  ;D

Sarge

And?! What do you think?

 I really admire this recording, it's almost as good as the Studer/Sinopoli Salome. Very similar approach too - ultra detailed conducting and sound picture, with youthful sounding dramatic sopranos in the title roles - they're actually convincing as young women or even girls. And lot's of intelligent singing on show too - nice shaping of the text.
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Offline Superhorn

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2011, 09:56:07 AM »
   I can't wait to hear the Gergiev recording . This opera is probably right up his alley.
   If there are balance problems on it  they may have been exacerbated by the
  notoriously bad acoustics of the Barbican center in London .
  I'd like to hear the Bychkov recording,too. His Decca recording of Daphne
with Renee Fleming and Johan Botha is excellent .  That's an under-recorded
opera if there ever was one . 

Offline Alberich

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2016, 02:37:42 PM »
I was recently at the Finnish National Opera watching the late Patrice Chereau's famous production of Elektra.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2016, 03:30:33 PM »
I have the Metropolitan Opera production with Hildegard Behrens and Deborah Voigt, James Levine on the podium, on DVD.  I believe it is from 1994.

I have always found it mesmerizing!

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Re: Strauss: Elektra
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2016, 09:37:33 AM »
I was recently at the Finnish National Opera watching the late Patrice Chereau's famous production of Elektra.

I'm going to see the last performance of this revivified Chereau production, conducted by Barenboim, in Berlin in November. I'm really looking forward to it. I don't often listen to recordings of this - it's not like Salome, where you can listen to the last scene sung by Ljuba Welitsch (1944 or even the later 1948) again and again. You need the full dramatic performance. Something of the raging hysteria of a performance in the opera house comes over in that old German radio recording with Erna Schlüter from Hamburg I think - was it Jochum conducting? I haven't got it here. It has a magnificent Clytemnestra, Gerda something? - quite terrifying.
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