M1500 .S916 E56 2005 DVD
Opera. Music by Richard Strauss.
For this 1981 film of Strauss's expressionist masterpiece, director Götz Friedrich collaborated with the composer's disciple Karl Böhm, who recorded the soundtrack with the Vienna Philharmonic only months before his death - "music making of grandeur, ecstasy and precision" wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In her performance of the punishing title role, Leonie Rysanek "surmounted the score's superhuman demands with an interpretive achievement that crowns her career" (Daily Telegraph). Astrid Varnay, once a great Electra herself, presents here a potent rendition of Clytemnestra. As The New York Times noted in describing this "powerfully moving Elektra", Friedrich and set designer Josef Svoboda have conjured up "distinctive images as memorably vivid as they are harsh."
Cast: Leonie Rysanek (Elektra); Astrid Varney (Klytämnestra); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Orest); Catarina Ligendza (Chrysothemis); Hans Beirer (Aegisth) ; other soloists; Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor; Wiener Philharmoniker; Karl Böhm, conductor.
Sung in German ; subtitles in English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese.
Distributed by Universal Classics (www.universalclassics.com).