...Now it returns with Angela Denoke, an even more compelling actress with a far healthier soprano voice. In league with Hartmut Haenchen's pacy conducting she makes you think first, what an incredible score, and only then, what a brilliant production....It's important that the shaggy prisoner's rants do even more to turn Salome's wits than the depraved court around her, and in conjunction with Haenchen's forward propulsion, that was powerfully underlined here, culminating in a truly horrible curse over Salome's recumbent figure. Haenchen's conducting inspires confidence from the first, spacious clarinet run conjuring the Palestinian night. He whips up a precise storm in the vortexes of frustrated desire, makes sure there are no longueurs in the early stages, as there can be with a less expert pacing, finds funny little rhythmic kinks in the dance and encourages eerie string slides - never more striking than the smeary lines after Salome has kissed the head - as well as bubbling woodwind detail. I've heard more refined accounts, but never one which kept the momentum going better or gave one more cause to marvel at the fact that, 105 years on, Strauss's score has lost none of its power to stun and bewitch.