Maria Ewing: the singer's best recordings
The late Maria Ewing was known for singing both soprano and mezzo roles throughout her illustrious career. Here, we name the best recordings of Ewing's performances
The best recordings of Maria Ewing
Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande
Vienna Philharmonic/Claudio Abbado
DG 435 3442
There is a certain grit to Maria Ewing's representation of Mélisande in this performance, with the character given new meaning through Ewing's interpretation and nuances. She sings the role alongside François Le Roux as Pelléas, whose performance is considered and refined.
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House/Edward Downes
Opus Arte OAR3108D
Directed by Ewing's husband Peter Hall, it was this production of Salome that first launched the American soprano onto the British stage. She gave one of the most notorious performances of Strauss's infamous 'Dance of the Seven Veils', performing it in the nude. Hall's staging showed Ewing at her most elegant and glamorous.
This film is available to watch on Medici TV.
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein
This is also available in DVD format, in a TV special directed by Humphrey Burton.
Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
London Philharmonic Orchestra & Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Mstislav Rostropovich
Warner Classics 9668382
Maria Ewing plays the role of Katerina in this historic recording with Galina Vishnevskaya in the title role. Ewing's acting capabilities are on full display here in this hugely expressive performance.
Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.