Beethoven: Fidelio

COMPOSERS: Beethoven
WORKS: Fidelio
PERFORMER: Birgit Nilsson, James McCracken, Kurt Böhme, Tom Krause, Graziella Sciutti, Donald Grobe, Hermann Prey; Vienna State Opera Chorus, Vienna PO/Lorin Maazel
CATALOGUE NO: 448 104-2 ADD Reissue
Not even a searing Florestan from McCracken and a larger-than-life Leonora from Nilsson can rescue this Fidelio, captured in excellent 1964 analogue sound, from the ruthless efficiency of Maazel’s cold-blooded direction, which relegates even the VPO players to the status of automata. For a budget-priced alternative, Böhm’s account, recently reissued by DG, remains the better proposition. Antony Bye