• OTF - Der Rosenkavalier

    This weekend is Mother’s Day, and if you visit my Pod-O-Matic podcast, you will find an encore issue of my Mother’s Day montage from last year. Acting as bookends for music about flowers, you will find some selections about Mothers in Opera. I hope you take the time to visit!

    Continuing on our theme of flowers, and wanting to provide a more light-hearted opera selection for this weekend, let me turn to this 1956 “reference” recording of Richard StraussDer Rosenkavalier, under the direction of Herbert von Karajan.

    As I stated in an OTF post a few weeks back, Karajan spent the early 1950’s working with Walter Legge at EMI leading his Philharmonia Orchestra in the years preceding his long tenure with the Berlin Philharmonic. Legge’s wife, Elisabeth Schwartzkopf, is also featured as one of the main members of this strong studio cast.

    Richard Strauss ventured into opera relatively late, devoting himself to the orchestral and lieder realms almost exclusively until the end of the 19th century. His 1905 production of Salome represents his first big, albeit controversial, splash on the opera scene, soon followed by Elektra (1909), which took his use of dissonance even further, in particular with the Elektra chord.

    Elektra was also the first opera in which Strauss collaborated with the poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The two subsequently worked together on numerous occasions: Ariadne auf Naxos (1912), Die Frau ohne Schatten (1918), Die ägyptische Helena (1927), Arabella (1932) as well as today’s opera, in 1911.

    Der Rosenkavalier has the distinction of having been produced as an Austrian silent film (directed by Robert Wiene) which premiered on 10 January 1926 at the Dresden Semperoper, which had also hosted the actual opera's premiere 15 years earlier. Strauss himself conducted his own adaptation of the score on that occasion with a small orchestra.

    Also, some of the music was repackaged into suites, the most noteworthy being a collection of Rosenkavalier waltzes:

    Richard STRAUSS (1864 –1949)
    Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59 (The Knight of the Rose
    Comic opera in three acts loosely adapted from the novel Les amours du chevalier de Faublas by Louvet de Couvrai and Molière’s comedy Monsieur de Pourceaugnac
    (German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal)

    CAST (Major Roles)

    Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Marschallin
    Christa Ludwig, Octavian
    Teresa Stich-Randall, Sophie
    Otto Edelmann, Ochs
    Nicolai Gedda, Italian singer
    Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus under Herbert von Karajan
    Kingsway Hall, London, England (12/10/1956 - 12/22/1956)

    Opera Synopsis @ http://www.metoperafamily.org/metope...sis.aspx?id=21
    German libretto @ http://www.opera-guide.ch/opera.php?...d=353#libretto
    Edited from FNAO podcast of 18 September 2009 (http://archive.org/details/FridayOpera_090918)
    This opera performance includes Sean's synopsis introductions as separate tracks.
    Performance @ http://archive.org/details/RichardSt...rajanElisabeth

    Happy Mother's Day!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: OTF - Der Rosenkavalier started by itywltmt View original post

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