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Cat. No. CHAN 3130(3) Price: £18 No. of discs: 3
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CHAN 3130 - Berg: Lulu
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Audio Sample

Available From: 01 February 2006
Berg was brought up in the extraordinary atmosphere that existed in Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century and created two very personal operas which reflected his experiences of the city: Wozzeck and Lulu. Both operas use forward-looking texts written by authors who were themselves eccentric individuals. In the case of Lulu, the text was written by Wedekind. Berg’s Lulu is a more complex and less paranoiac representation of that fin de siècle archetype, the femme fatale. The character Lulu is an amoral representation of the pleasure principle: she is the embodiment of pure desire rather than of immoral transgression.

Berg’s score, much easier on the ear than that he composed for Wozzeck, is full of beauties-notably in the Interludes. In fact, Lulu reveals a strong affinity with the more refulgent sound worlds of Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler, and performed by the English National Opera Orchestra with lush and full-bodied tone, it represents the opulence of a Strauss tone poem.

Having missed the acclaimed ENO production of Lulu, I’m very keen to hear the recording. From the reviews I know I’ll find it enthralling.
Duncan Druce Gramophone 2006 Critic’s Choice

I would like to give English National Opera’s Production of Lulu to anyone who can’t imagine Berg being fun.
Peter Quantrill Gramophone 2006 Critic’s Choice

Soprano Lisa Saffer said recently that Berg’s opera Lulu isn’t exactly the kind of thing you put on to entertain your neighbours when they come round. But her performance of the title role in this recording is so tremendous, so beautifully sung and full of vivid details that I think your neighbours should consider them lucky if they heard it.
Classic FM Magazine

Lulu would seem an excellent candidate for the opera in English project by the English National Opera and the Peter Moores Foundation. For listeners who don’t understand German, the complicated, often mysterious goings-on in the work with its many characters are serious obstacles to understanding the plot, let alone the motives of the protagonists. And without that there is little point in listening to this opera. So Chandos deserves plaudits for this complete English version.
American Record Guide

Earth-spirit like Lulu’s rise and fall made a fantasical spectacle in Richard Jones’s English National Opera production, which should have been a prime candidate for DVD. Chandos’s Opera in English series gives us quite a different experience, but still one that validates the fluent delivery made possible by Jones’s idiosyncratic springboard. Throughout, the conversation-pieces, ironic exchanges and occasional splashes of coarse humour rendered by Richard Stokes’s painstaking translation are delivered with verve, meshing confidently with the finely-balanced orchestral web of sound.
BBC Music Magazine

Lulu in the raw – WNO provide ‘a Rosenkavalier with no underwear’

This studio recording, sung in Richard Stokes’s translation, was produced in May 2005 in conjunction with the first revival of Richard Jones’s ENO production, and it stands up remarkably well. Paul Daniels makes sure Berg’s complex vocal and orchestral textures are presented in a natural way, so that every word is distinct. And having a cast who have grown into their roles on stage is a wonderful bonus.
The Guardian

Paul Daniel allows the score’s delicate detail to emerge without over-emphasis and he captures the Mahlerian overtones.
Sunday Telegraph

The American soprano treats Berg’s extreme vocal acrobatics with the nonchalance of someone sipping milk; technically, hers is a remarkable performance… The recording’s chief beneficiaries are Paul Daniel and the ENO orchestra. The playing has acid clarity and force, with the orchestration’s sleazy quality well to the fore
The Times

Daniel achieves admirable results…
BBC Music Magazine

“Lisa Saffer makes an ideal Lulu, dramatically compelling to watch, and with a voice to equal the sustained high note writing which Berg gives his protagonist… John Graham-Hall’s Alwa is splendid. Robert Haywood an excellent Dr Schön…”
Peter Grahame Woolf

“Paul Daniel’s sensitive conducting allows the singers to be heard clearly but wallows unashamedly in the lush lyricism of the orchestral interludes between scenes.”
David Rafaello


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