40 years of Levine

I recently picked up the James Levine 40th Anniversary collections of CDs and DVDs. What is appealing about them is the repertoire, with its emphasis on 20th century items – Berg, Schoenberg, Debussy, Weill, Harbison, Corigliano – along with earlier masters. The Elektra, with Hildegard Behrens, Deborah Voigt, Brigette Fassbaender, James King and Donald McIntyre, features razor-sharp orchestral playing and simply incredible performances from all three women. I’ve experienced the charisma of  Behrens as Brynnhilde in person, and that gift is apparent in her sustained demonic intensity as Elektra. It’s a jaw-dropping performance.


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