R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier Evelyn Lear (Marschallin), Jules Bastin (Baron Ochs), Frederica von Stade (Octavian), Ruth Welting (Sophie), Derek Hammond-Stroud (Faninal), James Atherton (Valzacchi), Sophia Van Sante (Annina), José Carreras (Italian Tenor), Nelly Morpurgo (Marianne Leitmetzerin) Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Edo de Waart
A superb cast (Evelyn Lear, Frederica von Stade, Jose Carreras) and a Rotterdam Philharmonic in great form, under the inspiring baton of Edo de Waart, a specialist in Late Romantic repertoire, mark this Rosenkavalier as a must-have for opera fans and music lovers in general. Part of the Brilliant Classics Opera Collection. Opera libretto available on www.brilliantoperacollection.com. Richard Strauss, undoubtedly one of the most famous musical figures to have emerged from Germany, enjoyed early success both as a conductor and composer. Having developed the symphonic poem to an unsurpassed level of expressiveness, he went on to achieve great success with a string of notable operas – of which Der Rosenkavalier, presented on this disc, is his best known. Set in Vienna during the early years of the Empress Maria Theresa’s reign, the work takes the form of a comedy in three acts, set to an original German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It bears a strong resemblance in terms of plot to Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as well as Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and is written in a very different vein to Strauss’s preceding avant-gardist creations Salome and Elektra – something for which the composer, appearing to have succumbed to popular taste, was heavily criticised. But this is a petty observation: Strauss’s combining of overt parody with psychological insight into matters of both the head and heart – not to mention the torments of growing up and the terrors of growing old – makes it a highly sophisticated work that stands firmly on a par with Mozart’s and Wagner’s. Featuring a superb cast of internationally renowned singers, this recording does full justice to the intricate and sublimely beautiful quality of Strauss’s writing – making it clear to the listener why Der Rosenkavalier has become one.