Happy returns: Dohnanyi’s back

Happy returns: Dohnanyi’s back


norman lebrecht

November 07, 2018

After a year of sickness and an uncustomary walkout, Christoph von Donhanyi, 89, conducted a revival of Patrice Chereau’s Elektra production at La Scala this week.

Review here.


  • Caravaggio says:

    Ricarda Merbeth as Elektra has to be a bad joke, no? She has what is known as a vocetta to begin with and then there are the horrendous intonation issues.

    • a colleague says:

      were you actually at the performance? if not, how can you make such judgements other than hearsay?

      • Jack says:

        Hearsay is all he engages in.

      • Caravaggio says:

        “Purtroppo la densa scrittura straussiana – per pure logiche d’orchestrazione – in alcuni punti non lascia spazio al canto, impedendo alla voce di correre come dovrebbe e costringendo il cantante a uno sforzo gravoso.”

        In other words, Merbeth is nowhere near being a dramatic soprano, by a distance of an ocean. And will never be. A travesty.

  • esfir ross says:

    I attended splendid concert of La Scala orchestra week ago. Conductor young Lorenzo Vioti.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    And let me guess, the climaxes never went farther than forte. At least, that’s what happened when his conducted “Frau ohne Schatten” in S.F. about 15 years ago. Who wants a chamber sounding version of “FroSch”?

    • Heini says:

      Strauss himself said that Elektra should be conducted like Mendelssohn, like “Elfenmusik”.

      • Barry Guerrero says:

        . . . the score says something completely different. Take a look sometime. You don’t orchestrate like that if you want it to sound like Mendelssohn. Clearly, he was speaking out of his mouth, with the realization that the piece was way over-orchestrated.

  • Siegfried78 says:

    Unfortunately maestro had to cancel second performance, replaced by Markus Stenz