Susan Bullock, soprano; Sally Burgess, mezzo; John Graham Hall, tenor & John Wegner, baritone / Philharmonia Orchestra; Sir Charles Mackerras
Richard Strauss (1864-1949): Salome
Chandos Opera in English
Sir Charles Mackerras’s recordings are well-established collectors’ items. His consistently brilliant reviews confirm that his music-making belies his years, and his new opera recordings have become benchmarks for the Chandos Opera in English series.
Chandos’s disc of the month sees Sir Charles pick up his baton to conduct leading dramatic soprano, Susan Bullock and the Philharmonia Orchestra in his first ever recording of Richard Strauss’s Salome. This is also the premiere recording in English and follows the Grammy win for Hansel and Gretel earlier this year.
Richard Strauss is a composer for whom Sir Charles holds in deep affection. He explains “I’m just amazed that he could have written it [Salome]. Every page has something that hadn’t been done before, not even by Wagner. Bitonality, whole tone scales, everything! Endlessly varying the leitmotifs so that they take on different meaning… remarkable, and such a lesson in the use of the orchestra… it’s just superb… even if you have not heard a note of Strauss before you will be swept along by the power of the music.”
Susan Bullock has previously performed Salome in the concert format and her performances in the role of Strauss’s Elektra have brought her international acclaim. MusicWeb International wrote of her Salome “we were treated to a show-stealing dramatic performance in which her character’s complicated and confused emotions were plainly visible.” She performs the role of Elektra at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in November.