Following the scandalous 'Salome', it was with the radical, expressive violence of 'Elektra' in 1909 that Richard Strauss finally cemented his position as the leading German opera composer of his generation. The immense vocal and orchestral demands it makes remain undiminished and few singers have really been able to meet the murderous challenge of singing the title role. In the 1960s and ’70s, however, Birgit Nilsson was one, possessing as she did a powerful voice also capable of much subtlety. This live recording from the Vienna State Opera in 1965, in a production by Wieland Wagner, was conducted by the great Karl Böhm, and was a musical triumph. Not only did Böhm and Nilsson give full rein to the eruptive violence of Strauss’s setting but they also attended to the psychological details that the composer teased out of Hoffmansthal's text. They were aided in this by the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera and a cast that was homogeneous right down to the smallest roles. Leonie Rysanek sang the wistful Chrysothemis, in a role she made her own, and with her luminous soprano she was an ideal counterpart to Nilsson’s tortured heroine. As their adversary, their inscrutable mother Klytämnestra, the dusky-timbred Regina Resnik gave a superb performance. For the adulterous lover Aegisth, the State Opera engaged the legendary heldentenor Wolfgang Windgassen. Eberhard Waechter sang the part of Orest, and with his unmistakeable baritone he offered every possible nuance of this important character, driven by fate.