Knussen Where the Wild Things are
The LP recording of Oliver Knussen's fantasy opera is pretty remarkable, but the CD version is stunning. The impression to begin with is of sitting in a very good front stall—close enough to need to turn your head as the cast move about the stage. But when the Wild Things arrive (their mumblings and hootings, growlings and twitterings an exact equivalent in sound to Maurice Sendak's endearingly comic/Horrific drawings) it is as though the stage had moved into the auditorium, or the listener into the protagonist Max's dream. The other high points of the score—the two beautiful interludes, the impressive processional as Max is crowned King of the Wild Things' island, the phantasmagoric Wild Rumpus itself—are projected with comparable vividness, and the colours of Knussen's orchestra (also a close analogy to Sendak's own) with great precision.'