Weber: Euryanthe W/ Sutherland
Label: NIMBUS RECORDS
BBC Symphony Chorus; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Strauss-Smith, Lloyd; Hatt, Beryl; Sutherland, Joan; Schech, Marianne; Böhme, Kurt; Stiedry, Fritz; Kraus, Otakar; Vroons, Frans
Despite the (mainly traditional) cuts, this 1955 BBC broadcast is treasurable. Not only does it feature Joan Sutherland’s touchingly pure and limpid Euryanthe – a role she only sang this once – but it also extends the small discography of Frans Vroons, in a lyric-heroic role which could have been written for him. Marianne Schech and Otakar Kraus are matchless villains, Kurt Bohme a comfortable King. Yet perhaps the performance’s prime virtue is the candescent conducting of Fritz Stiedry. His visionary readings of the familiar Overture and the desolate Prelude to Act 3 are heightened by unusually good broadcast sound, captured by the late Richard Itter on state-of-the-art equipment. This thrilling Euryanthe fully vindicates Weber’s – and Chezy’s –achievement.