R Strauss - Der Rosenkavalier
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Label: Australian Eloquence
Cat No: ELQ4807202
Number of Discs: 3
Release Date: 5th January 2015
Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden
"These [singers in this Böhm recording] make probably the best-matched cast in any modern recording [of Rosenkavalier]. This is a performance in the best Straussian tradition, which is not surprising since Karl Böhm is conducting the Saxon State Orchestra of Dresden, the home of Strauss's operas until Munich took over." - Music on Record, 1963, repr. 1978
Karl Böhm's only studio version of Der Rosenkavalier was recorded in 1958. When Deutsche Grammophon originally planned to record the work, there were already two rival versions on the market: the Decca recording under Erich Kleiber and EMI's version under Herbert von Karajan. Karajan's recording was made in December 1956 and should have included Irmgard Seefried as Octavian and Rita Streich as Sophie, but in both cases cast changes became necessary: Seefried was replaced by the young Christa Ludwig, and pregnancy forced Rita Streich to withdraw.
As a result, Deutsche Grammophon was able to use both these singers for its own recording exactly two years later. It boasts a wonderful cast, with the full-throated Marianne Schech as the Marschallin, Irmgard Seefried bringing a range of colour to the 'trouser' role of Octavian, Rita Streich light and exquisite as Sophie, and a rounded, lyrical portrait of Faninal from Fischer-Dieskau. The recording also reunited Böhm with his 'old' orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, an orchestra often referred to as the 'Zauberharfe' or 'Magic Harp' for the fluent and airborne quality of its sound.
'If you want a Rosenkavelier that bubbles along with joy and that captures the touching quiet passages in a way that conveys the compassion and the ripe 1910 Vienna character of this work, then there really is no other recording that's even worth considering' - Amazon.com review
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