Salome (French Version)  (Nagano;   Karen Huffstodt, Jean Dupouy, Jose van Dam, Helene Jossoud, Jean-Luc Viala)  (2-Virgin Classics 91477)
Item# OP0605
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Product Description

Salome (French Version)  (Nagano;   Karen Huffstodt, Jean Dupouy, Jose van Dam, Helene Jossoud, Jean-Luc Viala)  (2-Virgin Classics 91477)
OP0605. SALOME (French Version), recorded 1990, Lyon, w.Nagano Cond. Opéra de Lyon Ensemble; Karen Huffstodt, Jean Dupouy, José van Dam, Hélène Jossoud, Jean-Luc Viala, etc. (U.K.) 2-Virgin Classics 91477, Slipcase Edition w.Elaborate 207pp. Libretto-Brochure. Long Out-of-print, Final ever-so-slightly used Copy! - 075679147721


“ Shortly after the German premiere, Strauss prepared a French version of Salome, necessitating a few changes in the music to accommodate Oscar Wilde's original text. This was premiered in 1907, but subsequent performances merely translated Hedwig Lachmann's German version with no changes in the score. Virgin Classics has recorded the original French version, and those who love the opera will find it fascinating. I had ignored this recording for years because of [poor] reviews and yet having finally heard it, I am thrilled. True, Huffstodt is occasionally a little wild but that's the result of the manner in which she throws herself into her depiction of a crazy teenager and some mild off-pitch excursions are excusable; her voice is in timbre remarkably similar at times to Beverly Sills and as such is theatrically much more convincing than some of the grandes dames who have successfully undertaken the role. True, Nagano does sometimes go for more clarity and delicacy than weight but key moments such as Jochanaan's Galilee narrative are marvellously moving and lyrical; SALOME does not have to be all slam-bam and of course Nagano's approach is more in keeping with a more refined, Gallic style. For me, the drama is still there; the confrontations between Salome and Jochanaan are riveting.

That of course owes much to José van Dam's famed way of nuancing text and the sheer beauty of his voice, only marginally greyer of tone than when he made the studio and live recordings for Karajan twelve years before. He sounds young and virile as he should, and the rapt smoothness of his legato somehow conveys other-worldliness - perfect. The French supporting cast is first-rate, especially Jean-Luc Viala's desperate Narraboth and Jean Dupouy's oily Herod; these were the two best French tenors of their era, I think. If you want to hear the French version, the only real competition comes from a live Festival recording conducted by Massimiliano Caldi and headed by Ukrainian soprano Sofia Soloviy with an otherwise all-Italian cast. She is excellent but the rest mangle the French and thus Nagano's account appeals far more to me. If you want to hear SALOME in French, or at least a part of it, there's Marjorie Lawrence's superb 1934 recording of the final scene."

- Classical CD Review