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Subject: Re: Strauss Operas
From: Scott Flatto <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scott Flatto <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 2 Dec 2008 09:58:54 -0500
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Call me a simpleton, or just not knowledgable, but I don't even need to go
to the obscure names.

For me: it doesn't get better than Nilsson, Rysanek, Resnik. Even on
recordings when they are not together, they are the highlights.
And I'm not sure it gets more commercial than the Solti-Strauss recordings
on Decca.  I still listen to the "Elektra" in awe (minus Collier), although
something leaves a little to be desired when Arabella rolls around. Although
not necessarily with that series, I do usually begin a Strauss journey with
Solti. Boehm tends to be too slow, plodding, deliberate. Levine similarly
so, but still not as refined as Solti. Generally, I go: Solti, Karajan,
Boehm, Levine---if we stick to those major names.

Then again: the making of the Boehm DVD of Elektra with Varnay and Rysanek
is particularly interesting when Boehm is trying to get the orchestra to get
it right. He passed on a few months after, I believe, and well.....he
certainly looks old. But at one point (as if he had just spoken to Strauss
about the piece) he says something along the lines of...."No. Strauss would
not have wanted it that way"/or "No. Strauss didn't want that...." It's like
Toscannini chatting it up with Puccini and then conducting.

And some quibble with E. Schwarzkopf's voice as steely or cold, but she is
the Marschallin that I judge other against. G. Jones is QUITE a good one---I
don't know why that surprised me when I first heard her. Crespin also nice.
Te Kanawa not as fond of (although she does give real tears at the end of
Act I in the DVD---so kudos to her on that).
As far as DVDs: Boehm's Salome with Varnay and Stratas is fun. The whole
thing is dramatically over-the-top, but that's the best part!! C. Malfitano
is in a few and she's OK. I have a particular aversion to M. Ewing in
anything, so that DVD is out for me.
Elektra: the Levine-Nilsson/Rysanek/Dunn DVD is good, although all are
certainly past their better years. It's dark and sound sort of bad in a few
places, but it's nice to have Nilsson and Rysanek on stage together. Rysanek
looks like she's going to collapse in exhaustion at the end of it all (I
believe she was ill?)
I commend Solti's Rosenkavalier, as well as Karajan's w/ A. Baltsa as
Octavian. Probably only because I'm partial to Baltsa in many things......

SF in Boston

On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 10:41 PM, Kathy Ronhaar <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>
> But the important thing isn't my favorite singers, it's yours.  Who do you
> like in Salome/Elektra/Rosenkavalier?  Have they recorded the other operas?
> Start there.
>
> -kr
>
> p.s.  I like this thread.  Everyone, please continue to make suggestions.

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