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Subject: Strauss Operas
From: "Ed "Zeke" Zubrow" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ed "Zeke" Zubrow
Date:Mon, 1 Dec 2008 18:36:59 -0500
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I like the orchestral music of Richard Strauss and I love his Four Last
Songs. His operas have been a harder nut for me to crack. I enjoy
Rosenkavalier --though I find it overstuffed and overlong-- and I have come
to terms pretty well with Salome and Elektra. But I would welcome guidance
on how to approach the others: Ariadne just baffles me, and based upon one
or two hearings on CD, Egyptian Helen, Die Frau Ohne Schatten seem pretty
recondite also. Lastly, I have the impression that Capriccio and Arabella
are relatively minor affairs, and may not be deserving of too much attention
by a beginner.

Having said all of that, I love various excerpts I have heard from all of
these operas. For example, the Rene Fleming disc with Barbara Bonney and
Susan Graham is wonderful and the trio from Rosenkavalier one of my very
favorite things is all of opera.

I would welcome hearing what others have experienced with Strauss and any
advice for how I might proceed in deepening my own understanding and
appreciation. Is there a sequence in which I might approach the operas? Are
there favorite recordings? I am especially interested in DVD recommendations
as well.

Lastly, I am impressed at the breadth of Strauss' artistic endeavors. Off
hand, I think I'd have to go back to Mozart to find such substantial writing
in each of so many diverse styles. Yet, then I think that in modern times it
is more common: Shostakovich and Prokofiev come to mind.

Thanks for any help.

Zeke

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