STRAUSS: Metamorphosen. Sinfonia Domestica, Op. 53.
Fine remasterings of older important recordings are always welcome, and this one is particularly enticing, with Jascha Horenstein conducting two major Strauss scores. We have the Pathe/EMI recording of Metamorphosen with the French National Radio Orchestra recorded June 30, 1953, and the first release of Sinfonia Domestica, from a BBC broadcast of February 19, 1961, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. It does seem remarkable that the BBC would go to the expense of hiring an expanded orchestra for a "Sunda Symphony Concert" broadcast, but they did. And the fine British orchestra responded nobly to the master conductor's direction. We are fortunate that the legendary conductor's cousin, Mischa Horenstein, who had the foresight to make high quality tape recordings of Jascha broadcasts. As remastered in Pristine's XR process, we have a very listenable sound of considerable dynamic range and clarity. This is Horenstein's only recording of this rather sprawling masterpiece, a most welcome addition to the catalog. Thank you, all!
I'm a bit puzzled about this reissue of Salome from a 1951 broadcast issued previously on CD, now remastered for maximum audio with Andrew Rose's technical expertise. The original Orfeo d'Or CD was unenthusiasically mentioned on this site some years ago in our feature on Salome. German soprano Inge Borkh (b. 1921) was famous throughout the operatic world particularly for her exciting performances of Strauss's Elektra and Salome. In 1954 she recorded the Salome finale with Fritz Reiner in Chicao, and two years later they recorded excerpts from Elektra—and she was in great vocal state on those occasions. Two of her sperb live performances of Elektra conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos are available on CD, and her 1958 Salome Met broadcast also with Mitropoulos is available on Arkadia. The latter finds Borkh in superb voice, perhaps inspired by the Greek conductor's dynamic direction. In the 1951 performance she easily manages the wide range of the demanding role, but her singing has a pecular and unpleasant vibrato. The sound has been vastly improved by the XR processing, but this is not a performance I shall return to except possibly to hear Hans Hotter as Jokanaan. The substantial filler is a welcome addition to the Pristine catalog, joining their previous issue of Also sprach Zarathustra, Don Juen and Till Eulenspiegel (REVIEW).
Borkh sng salome at the Met in 1948 1961 Elektra RosenstockRCA Salome 1954; elektra 1956cs