- Audio CD (Aug. 1 2000)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Polygram Records
- ASIN: B00004U8FE
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
|1. Arabella: Aber der Richtige wenns einen gibt - Hilde Gueden|
|2. Ariadne auf Naxos: Es ist alles vergebens Es gibt ein Reich - Leontyne Price|
|3. Der Rosenkavalier: Mein Gott! Es warnicht mehr als eine Farce - Regine Crespin|
|4. Elektra: Allein! Weh ganz allein - Birgit Nilsson|
|5. Die Frau ohne Schatten: Sieh - Amme - sieh...Zum Lebenswasser!... Wehe mein Mann! - Leonie Rysanek|
|6. Salome: Salomes Tanz der sieben Schleier - Wiener Philharmoniker|
|7. Salome: Es ist keinLaut zu vernehmen - Anja Silja|
This is an excellent compilation disc from Decca. The sound on all the selections is good, but the excerpt from "Die Frau ohne Schatten" has dated sound. Decca provides a booklet that contains notes and texts with English translations. This is a big help in understanding the sung words.
The first excerpt is the glorious soprano duet from "Arabella", sung ravishingly by Lisa della Casa and Hilde Güden. These two sopranos soar over Strauss' exquisite orchestration. It is a delight to hear their ethereal upper registers. No other composer wrote better soaring music for sopranos to sing. Strauss was truly a master of this type of music. The excerpt from "Ariadne auf Naxos" is well sung by Leontyne Price. The fabulous trio from "Der Rosenkavalier" is sung ravishingly by Régine Crespin, Hilde Güden, and Elisabeth Söderström. Notice the clear German diction of these three singers. The music for this trio contains some ravishing string writing. Elektra's Monologue is sung magnificently by Birgit Nilsson. Her high notes, especially the high C at the end, are incredibly powerful and rock-steady. She inflects the aria superbly. You can really hear her longing for her dead father in her repeated cries of "Agamemnon". Leonie Rysanek is incredible in the Empress' Dream Sequence from "Die Frau ohne Schatten". The high tessitura poses no problem for her and she sings with smoldering involvement. Some of the orchestral music in this passage is positively gorgeous. Herbert von Karajan conducts a wonderful performance of the Dance of the Seven Veils.Read more ›
1. Arabella (Della Casa / Gueden) Excellent -- Wish there was more. 2. Ariadne (Price) Ill Cast -- Look elsewhere. 3. Rosenkavalier (Crispin / Gueden) Very Good -- One can never tire of the Trio and Finale of this opera. 4. Elektra (Nilsson) Classic -- A great scene from the best recording of this opera. 5. Frau (Rysanek) Good -- The right performer, decent sound for 1955, but there are far better scenes to excerpt. 6. Salome -- Seven Veils -- Doesn't fit in with theme of famous scenes with sopranos, would rather have more singing. 7. Salome (Silja) -- Superb -- A good reason to buy this CD; never knew of this interpretation beforehand. It is really great.
Overall -- Four Stars -- because of Price, who is not good as Ariadne; the wasted space with the Dance of the Seven Veils; and the poor scene selection from Frau. But the other selections are good, and the Frau is good too, but could have been better.
If you love Strauss, this CD should be in your collection.
This compilation includes excerpts from some of those lesser-known operas, including "Arabella" (1933) and the increasingly better-known "Die Frau Ohne Schatten" (1919). Ironically, these are the oldest excerpts on the recording, including a crisp "Arabella" from 1957 with supreme Straussian conductor Georg Solti and supreme Straussian singer Lisa Della Casa, as well as a rough-sounding "Frau Ohne Schatten" excerpt from 1955 (but then, it's conducted by Strauss' friend Karl Bohm, which makes up for it). Solti also makes an appearance on this album for a 1979 recording of "Es Gibt ein Reich" from "Ariadne auf Naxos," which seems to have hovered for years in limbo between the three major Strauss operas and "lesser" Strauss works.
Although I like the other excerpts, my greatest affection is still reserved for those three major operas: Rosenkavalier, Elektra, and Salome. Solti returns to this recording for a third appearance (this time armed with Birgit Nilsson) for a thundering interpretation of Elektra's soliloquy over her father's grave, fantasizing about vengeance against her mother and her mother's love-toy for his murder. This excerpt comes from Solti's complete 1967 recording, for some reason no longer available in the States.Read more ›