CD: Berg: Lulu: Efraty/ Soffel/ Teatro Massimo Palermo/ Reck, et al

(Oehms, two CDs)

Though the packaging does not reveal it, and in fact never gives the track numbering to the acts and scenes of Berg's masterpiece, this is the unfinished two-act version of Lulu, with the Lulu-Suite movements the composer orchestrated from the third act tacked on to provide some sort of closure.

A live performance, it was recorded at the opera house in Palermo two years ago. By current standards, however, it's a poor effort. There is what sounds like tape hiss, which I thought was a thing of the distant past, and a coarse, close-up perspective, which flattens the voices into the orchestra.

The performance conducted by Stefan Anton Reck is passable - nothing more. Anat Efraty is a tremulous Lulu, Doris Soffel a staid Geschwitz. Roderick Kennedy's forceful Rodrigo is the best of the rest. There is no libretto, and in fact really no reason to buy this set, especially when the competition for the two- and three-act versions on disc is so strong.

Contributor

Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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