Current Listening: Boulez Conducts Alban Berg’s Lulu

boulez-stratas-berg-lulu

Thanks to the orchestration completion by composer Friedrich Cerha, we now have a completed three-act version of Alban Berg’s opera Lulu (even though Berg’s widow had forbidden the completion). This recording captures an excellent performance of the full Lulu, featuring Pierre Boulez conducting the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris with soprano Teresa Stratas as Lulu. The other cast members include Yvonne Minton, Hanna Schwarz, Toni Blankenheim, Robert Tear, Franz Mazura, Kenneth Riegel, Helmut Pampuch, et al.

Stratas’ performance as Lulu is very impressive; her singing is moving and passionate. The rest of the cast also perform splendidly. Boulez is, of course, a fine Berg conductor, and the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris gives a marvelous performance under his lead. I am very glad Cerha completed the orchestration for the third act, which allows us to hear this dramatic finale to Lulu. The sound quality of this recording is good as well.

My final thought? Very highly recommended (and for those who love this opera, it is essential).

kanN

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