Very compelling on the whole, especially for Troyanos
Oedipus Rex is a very interesting work, and one of Stravinsky's best ones too. This recording does it justice, captured with sound quality that is very sharp and of great clarity. The orchestral playing is first-rate, each instrumental section blending beautifully with one another. Leonard Bernstein's conducting likewise, maybe it was lacking a tad in incisiveness at the start but both the percussive and dark pathos qualities of the score- and there is a great many of both- are brought out by his restrained but authoritative approach with ease. The chorus are not quite as good, I can tell that they were into it, but their sound could have done with more variety of tone colour and they could have done with more vocal projection. The performers do a fine job bringing out what is required for their roles and sing wonderfully. Rene Kollo can sound reedy and rather edgy as well but is still involving. Tom Krause sings with a lovely rich voice and he is very authoritative and noble, and Michael Wager's narration is clearly well-rehearsed, very expressive and splendidly enunciated. Ezio Flagello is very good as well as David Evitts and Frank Hoffmeister. The standout for me though was Tatiana Troyanos' fully-rounded Jocasta, her beautiful velvety rich voice is as powerful and musical early in her career as it was later on until her death, and dramatically she is incredibly passionate and moving. All in all, very compelling and well worth the hearing. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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