OP0381. GUNTRAM (Strauss), recorded, 1984, w.Eve Queler Cond. Hungarian State Ensemble & Hungarian Army Chorus; Reiner Goldberg, Ilona Tokody, Sándor Sólyom-Nagy, Istvan Gáti, Tamara Takács, etc. (Austria) 2-Sony M2K 39737. Boxed Set has Elaborate Brochure, w.archival photos & libretto; Long out of Print; Final remaining sealed copy! - 5099703973723
“'Influenced by Wagner' is the standard reflex reaction to Strauss' first opera, GUNTRAM, and it's true, of course, nowhere more than in the title itself. But the more one knows it, the more Straussian it becomes. Who else could have composed the Preludes to Acts 1 and 3? And the Marschallin's music, even some of Arabella's, is anticipated here and there. How much of that was the result of Strauss' revision in the late 1930s we cannot tell, but the hand of the old master on the work of his youth leads to fascinating results. The music was written in 1893, so it is mature Strauss, parallel with the tone-poems. There are gaucheries in the libretto, but much of the vocal writing is strikingly beautiful, especially that of the main role of Guntram, which is sung with great lyrical fervour by Reiner Goldberg, while the heroine Freihild's music evokes an impassioned response from Ilona Tokody, though she is not free from East European wobble.
This mainly Hungarian recording has transferred well to CD and it is clear that the conductor Eve Queler has an affectionate understanding of the opera. Balance between voices and orchestra is natural and the quality of performance generally high….”
GRAMOPHONE, Sept., 1988