CHAUSSON:  "Ah, ...Trahie! AbandonnÈe." from Le Roi Arthus.  MENOTTI:  "To This We've Come" from The Consul.  "What a curse for a woman is a timid man!" from The Old Maid and the Thief.  WAGNER:  "Einsam in trüben Tagen" from Lohengrin.  "Allm”cht'ge Jungfrau!" from T”nnhauser.  STRAUSS:  "Es gibt ein Reich" from Ariadne auf Naxos. "Ich kann nicht sitzen" from Elektra.  "Wehe, mein Mann!" from Die Frau ohne Schatten."  "Ah! Du wolltest mich nicht Deinen Mund küssen lassen, Jochanaan" from Salome.
Susan B. Anthony, soprano; Slovak RSO of Bratislava/Ivan AnguËlov, cond.
ARTE NOVA 74321 86894 (B) (DDD) TT:  66:46


This is a most impressive recording by Michigan-born American soprano with the unlikely name of Susan B. Anthony. She has had a considerable European career including performances at La Scala, the Berlin State opera, Vienna State Opera, OpÈra de Bastille and the Rome Opera.  In the U.S. she has sung Chrysothemis in Strauss's Elektra in Santa Fe; it seems odd that she has yet to appear at the Metropolitan—particularly when her ability is so obvious.  Anderson's roles include Wagner's Elsa, Elizabeth, Senta and Brünnhilde, Strauss's Maria (Friedenstag), Chrysothemis, the Empress, Ariadne and Salome, as well as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Leonora in Il trovatore and GeniËvre in Chausson's Le Roi Arthus, a role she has recorded for Koch Schwann (365422). 

Anthony's voice is pure, secure and voluminous. She is fearless on those Straussian high notes, dependably accurate, interpretively strong. The dramatic Chausson aria whets the appetite for her complete recording. Eileen Farrell's recording of "To This We've Come" from Menotti's The Consul remains the finest, but Anderson's comes close—doubtless with a more expansive conductor she would have made more of the closing bars. One can understand why her Chrysothemis in Santa Fe was so successful based on this performance of "Ich kann nicht sitzen."  In this brief excerpt from Die Frau ohne Schatten Anderson's Empress compares favorably with Rysanek's.  The Salome finale is the prize of this disk, and magnificently sung; Anthony's flexible but powerful voice vividly suggests the depraved young princess. It is unfortunate the orchestra and conductor aren't up to her standard—and the over-bright engineering isn't flattering to either singer or orchestra.  Still this is a fascinating release showcasing a major singer of our time, and highly recommended.  U.S. purchasers might find it difficult to obtain - I surely did, and ended up ordering a copy from England.  However, it's worth searching for.

R.E.B.  (July 2002)