Bartóks only opera is a rather short affair. In one act he twist the folk tale about Bluebeard into a Freudian spectacle taken from the nightmares of a man unable to cope with the death of his four wives.
Bluebeard’s castle is dark. To allow some light in, his newly found wife demands he opens doors to adjoining rooms. He doesn’t want that, and he begs her to stop asking. Of course she gets her way, only to find nightmares soaked in blood behind each door.
The story of this opera always appealed to me, so I bought it. You don’t find it that often, so I was happy. But somehow the recording was as good as I wanted. Turns out my record is mono. No wonder listening to it seemed a bit flat!