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Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos has generally had a happy recording history, so the latest live offering from Frankfurt Opera is up against strong competition. Sebastien Weigle conducts with spirit, but the sound is slightly bottom-heavy, reducing some of the chamber-like qualities of the score. Camilla Nylund is a solid Ariadne, enjoyable to listen to, but missing the profundity and eventual rapture that lift the role. Brenda Rae is an accurate, full-voiced and somewhat charmless Zerbinetta, but to be fair we don’t know what stage business she was contending with while hitting the stratosphere. Michael König doesn’t make an ugly sound or miss a note in Bacchus’s treacherous music, quite an achievement, and the glory of the set is Claudia Mahnke’s Komponist, her rich tones even throughout the range, her top thrilling, and her dramatic involvement palpable.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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