Cher Public

Da drin ist die silberne Ros’n

A week from tonight the Met premieres an eagerly anticipated new Der Rosenkavalier, its first in nearly 50 years—probably to the dismay of many grown used to the venerable Nathaniel MerrillRobert O’Hearn production. As a preview “Trove Thursday” offers a live broadcast of Richard Strauss’s most popular opera with a delicious cast headed by Régine Crespin, Elisabeth Söderström, Anneliese Rothenberger and Oscar Czerwenka, Leopold Ludwig conducting. 

Always having been allergic to the “charms” of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, when I first wanted to hear Rosenkavalier I studiously avoided the ubiquitous first Herbert von Karajan recording and instead bought (with my lawn-mowing money) the bewitching Erich Kleiber version on four cheap Richmond LPs as I had already fallen for its Octavian, Sena Jurinac.

However, I was disappointed by the Marschallin of Maria Reining whom I eventually came to admire, particularly her glorious Ariadne. So I then sought out an appealing highlights disc featuring both Crespin and Söderström along with Hilde Gueden. Crespin’s lovely, unmannered Marie-Thérèse was much to my taste and I savored it both on that version as well as on the lush complete recording conducted by Georg Solti.

When I started to collect broadcasts, I discovered this 1959 Glyndebourne performance, the earliest of several live Crespin Rosenkavaliers I have found and nearly a decade before the Solti. At 32 she was then the same age as the Marschallin. However, the 1961 from Buenos Aires includes a Fritz Wunderlich cameo as the Singer!

I prefer—but seldom get—a soprano as Octavian (and also as the Komponist), so the treasurable Söderström, who was also 32 at this time, is a special joy. She was famously one of the few singers to sing all three leading roles in this opera. In fact, just a few months after this performance she returned to Sophie in her debut season at the Met opposite Lisa Della Casa and Christa Ludwig with Czerwenka in his debut. Twenty-eight years later she finally performed the Marschallin on the Met stage although I’m told that the most memorable Met/Söderström Marschallins were those on the 1983 tour with Frederica von Stade and Kathleen Battle.

Also an accomplished Zdenka, Rothenberger was featured in a number of Met performances as Sophie, including the debuts of both Crespin (opposite Hertha Töpper in her only Met role) and Schwarzkopf. Many will no doubt have seen her in the famous Paul Czinner film of Rosenkavalier from Salzburg.

Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier

Glyndebourne Festival
June 7, 1959 Broadcast

Feldmarschallin: Régine Crespin
Octavian: Elisabeth Söderström
Sophie: Anneliese Rothenberger
Annina: Nancy Evans
Leitmetzerin: Elizabeth Crook
Baron Ochs: Oscar Czerwenka
Faninal: Willy Ferenz
Valzacchi: John Kentish
Singer: William McAlpine

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Leopold Ludwig

As always, this week’s “Trove Thursday” can be downloaded via the audio-player included on this page. Just click on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory.

In addition, this week’s rapturous Strauss, last week’s fiery Massenet and more than 60 other “Trove Thursday” podcasts are available from iTunes (for free!) or via any RSS reader.

  • Bill

    Crespin was a very warm Marschallin -- vocally splendid -- she may not have been as stylish on the stage as della Casa or Schwarzkopf, but she had a rich lovely sound which blended particularly well in the trio with other singers. When Maria Reining
    recorded the Marschallin she was about at the end of her brilliant career --

    Rothenberger was one of the most sought after Sophies though one could not go wrong with Gueden either and my favorite on record
    is Streich on the 1957 DGG with Boehm conducting.

    I saw Soederstrom at the Met in her early career as Susanna and as Sophie in one of the performances you mention --

    I too favor a soprano Octavian -- favorites being Seefried and Jurinac
    (unfortunately never saw della Casa) and I am very partial to this Boehm DGG recording though Schech, a fine Marschallin, is not
    as fluid as Crespin. There are a number of Jurinac live performances (from Salzburg and also the film which was
    pre-recorded then lip synked. From Seefried I have two live
    performances from Vienna in rather terrible sound -- one in 1966
    with Rysanek (and Wunderlich) and one (her last ever Octavian)
    from 1970 with Jurinac as a lovely Marschallin -- both in good voice.

    We have been lucky with Rosenkavaliers through the years --
    so many great singers, so many top-notch conductors.

    • southerndoc1

      Agree about Streich, Seefried, and the Boehm recording in general -- and he makes several cuts that don’t bother me in the least!

      • Bill

        southerndoc1 -- I had always understood that the 1957 Boehm DGG Rosenkavalier with Streich, Seefried, Boehme, Fischer-Dieskau, Schech
        was one of the rare uncut recorded Rosenkavaliers -- the Karajan
        EMI recording with Schwarzkopf, Ludwig deifnitely has cuts.

        I do not have scores at home so am not following what I am hearing note for note. The Boehm 1957 Rosenkavalier was supposed to have Rysanek
        as the Marschalllin but she was ill and relaced by Schech.
        But then the EMI Karajan Rosenkavalier with Schwarzkopf was supposed originally to be recorded by Seefried and Streich and that did not happen
        either so Boehm nabbed them a year later for his recording. .

        • Armerjacquino

          There’s a certain type of ‘fluttery’ Viennese soprano- Rothenberger, Streich, Koth would be good examples- that I’m a little allergic to. I much prefer the purer, perhaps whiter sound that a Bonney or a Gueden or a Persson brings to Sophie.

          • Ivy Lin

            Funny I don’t care for that fluttery type of soprano either except in the role of Sophie. But I think Sophie’s youth and flightiness make the flutter sound right.

            • Bill

              Ivy -- I rather agree. I have seen Streich sing
              Sophie on the stage and know well the Boehm DGG recording -- I do not find her
              fluttery at all -- the voice is small but carried well and is consistently lovely -- Sophie actually particularly in the 2nd act is a bit nervous as Octavian approaches and a certain flutter (with purity) seems quite appropriate. Actually I did not find Rothenberger particularly fluttery either -- Koeth had a tighter vibrato -- a very agile soprano but a more constricted voice. Not altogether to my taste but she had an important career in Munich.

          • Luvtennis

            I don’t hear Streich as fluttery. The other two, yes, Rothenberger more so than Koth. I love Popp and Donath on records. I wish Kathy had been able to record the role.

            • Rick

              “Kathy”, is that a friend of yours, Luvtennis?

            • Luvtennis

              Ms. Battle.

            • Rick

              I thought so -- I just have this aversion to persons referring to famous operasingers by their first name or pet name (like “Jackie”, “Kathy” etc) as if they are old friends. Of course, in some cases, they might be old friends (or merely acquiantances) -- in which case one could argue that it is somewhat pretentious

              Of course, chacun à son goût. So knock yourself out, Luvtennis (c:

            • It jars with me, too, but I get the impression that in the US it’s a sign of quite respectful affection.

            • Rick

              Actually, I think it is OK if it is a name generally used for the person (I guess Jackie might fall into that category) but just using the first name, in particular in a diminutive form….
              But, as you rightly point out, it might be a cultural difference

            • I’ve noticed Rowna Sutin doesn’t do it, though.

            • Bill

              Rick -- in Vienna the more popular stars are often called by their last names with a “the”
              such as die Schwarzkopf, der Kunz but Leonie Rysanek was usually just called “Leonie” perhaps as there were two Rysanek sisters and Domingo is also just called “Placido” and Bernstein was often just called
              “Lenny” -- and some singers were called by their first names -- Jurinac “die Sena”, Seefried “die Irmgard” -- and a few by their nicknames -- “Cebsi” for Cebotari, “der Paulus” for Schoeffler, “Jussi” for Patzak, and for the three Hildes “Hulda” for Gueden, “Hilde Ko” for Konetzni, “Hildchen” for Zadek, “Tonerl” for Dermota -- Of course Sena was not Jurinac’s original name it was Srebenka and til this day in Vienna many people incorrectly pronounce Jurinac as “Jurinatsch” when it should be “Jurinatz”. People here on Parterre may say “Jackie” for Horne or “little Renata” for Scotto but it is with affection,
              not derision (sometime the opposite with negative implications -- “Reneeee”, “Herr Dr. Karl”, “Evil Incarnate”).

              Pretentious perhaps -- but usually nicknames for singers are utilized to indicate not only a certain familiarity but also a certain amount of respect in acknowledging a singers fame. And let us not forget “La Divina”, La “Stupenda” etc.

            • Benrenki

              I’ve also heard Rysanek called “Poldi,” or “die Poldi,” based on her birth name of Leopoldine. (Pronounced poidy, of course)

            • Luvtennis

              It is quite common on these threads.

        • Scott

          Böhm’s DGG Rosenkavalier is definitely cut. Until the Solti/Decca was released, the only commercial recording that could boast “complete” status was the Kleiber/Decca from 1954.

        • southerndoc1

          Thanks for the correction.

          Streich and Koth and Lipp and Otto and Steffak and Loose and . . . impossible to keep them all distinct in my mind.

          • kankedort


  • “Richard Strauss’s most popular opera…” I did a sort of double-take on reading that, but I suppose it is. It’s one I’m least interested in finding on my upcoming season’s schedule, so I tend to forget about it.

    • PCally

      Same here lol. Never really understood why it’s so reputed.

      • Bill

        PCally -- probably, among other things, Rosenkavalier is popular as it has roles which are very desirable for certain singers to sing and to act- not only the Marschallin (which is a very comfortable role vocally for an aging soprano) but Baron Ochs is a very big role for a dark bass -- Octavian is a very interesting role as well when well sung and played. Many high sopranos like to play Sophie -- some high notes to show off their ability, not too florid for those who do not have as much facility for that aspect (but most of them do, even Gueden, a true lyric, sang Zerbinetta and not during the very beginning of her career) -- some of the music (the waltzes -- perhaps the Presentation of the Silver Rose) are relatively well known from the Rosenkavalier orchestral suite which many conductors perform in symphony concerts. Plus it is said that many women in the audience of a certain age can be very moved by the Feldmarschallin’s aging dilemma.

    • (But for Crespin I will listen to this!)

      • PCally

        But of course. She’s the greatest!

  • PCally

    What a sensational trio of ladies, two of which are two or my all time favorites. Live is the best way to listen to Crespin and I’ve never heard a live performance of her in this role so I’m very much looking forward to it.


    My Dear Mr. Corwin, I not only thank you for this wonderful addition to the Trove but it’s also nice to know I share the same allergy regarding Frau Schwarzkopf with someone else. Ja, ja.

    • PCally

      Count me in as another who falls into the category of being allergic to *most* Schwarzkopf (the young Elvira’s and Countesses for Furtwangler are pretty terrific and some of the Lieder).

      • Armerjacquino

        I’m obviously not a fan of her personality/behaviour/opinions and I tend to avoid listening to her now but I do think she was a wonderful fit for the Marschallin. Funny you should pick up on the ‘Ja, ja’- I don’t think anyone gets close to her in inflecting those two syllables with meaning.

        • PCally

          Interesting. The Marschallin, though a good fit for her vocally, is actually one of my least favorite or her roles. IMO she basically makes the character totally cold and cynical. Going in the direction of maudlin in a mistake (Fleming is the example I’m thinking off) and anger and bitterness are completely valid choices to playing the role. But I think Schwarkzopf pretty much plays those two things exclusively and seems so ready to hop into the bed of the next man that comes along that the whole opera just seems to have no stakes for me. This is just my opinion but I much prefer Crespin and Della Casa and among more recent interpreters I find Schwanewilms is one of the most complete interpretations I’ve ever seen. MrsJohnClaggart also wrote a lengthy post about Soderstrom a while back discussing the different things she brought the the role. But I guess that’s why it’s such a rich role, there are SO MANY different ways of playing it.

          • Bill

            PCally -- up until her recent retirement from the stage, Isokoski sang the Feldmarschallin
            quite beautifully but you are correct Schwanewilms was truly excellent in the role.
            Schwanewilms seems to have cut back her operatic appearances quite drastically and has cancelled (well in advance) a fair number of scheduled evenings in opera. I have seen her almost exclusively in five Richard Strauss roles and like both her intelligent approach to her roles and her silvery creamy voice and splendid diction.

          • This may sound surprising, but I think the best I ever saw live was Dame Felicity Lott, some years ago of course. I have seen R. Fleming in the role, with Susan Graham and Barbara Bennoy, but I’m sorry to say I left before act 3. Couldn’t face any more in Paris’s awful production.

            • Porgy Amor

              Was that in the Wernicke production, NPW? I know Paris had it in the 1990s, and that Lott was one of the Marschallins, around ’98.

              I find nothing at all odd about someone rating Lott highly in this role (and a number of other things). I think that in some venues what she had would come across better than in others, but she was (is) highly intelligent and a very warm and sympathetic presence. There are some famous Marschallins about whom I would not say both of those things. Nameless for now.

            • I don’t remember the production. It was at the Châtelet -- she turned up for dinner after in the same restaurant as us in Les Halles.

            • Porgy Amor

              Lott named the Marschallin as her favorite role in a recent radio interview. She said in part it was because so much of what she sang was more remote from the hit parade, but this was an opera she sang that everyone knew, liked, and could get into, and she loved playing the character’s arc. She had been an Octavian first, but enjoyed playing the Marschallin more.

              Her co-favorite was Christine in Intermezzo.

            • Bill

              Porgy -- not only did Lott sing the Marschallin in France but some 25 performances in Vienna from 1994 -2003 the first two series with Carlos Kleiber conducting. Lott was a warm natural Marschallin in the grand tradition -- well received and somewhat similar to the rendition of Claire Watson -- very natural on stage and with clear diction. Vienna has always had a very traditional production of Rosenkavalier -- the 1955 production which was part of the re-opening of the reconstruction of the bombed out house and the 1968 Schenk production which is still in use. Hence any Feldmarschallin can fit in without undue changes in their interpretation -- I remember Lott’s delicate use of her hands -- her vocal prowess particularly in the poignant, slightly sorrowful reflective moments -- she was a true
              grande dame to her fingertips and
              it was expressively sung.

            • Porgy Amor

              Lott was arguably the leading Marschallin of the day for ten years or so, until Fleming made her mark in the part. Besides Paris, Vienna, and New York as mentioned, she sang it in London, Brussels, San Francisco, and (with Kleiber and the rest of the Vienna cast from earlier in the same year) Tokyo.

            • Porgy Amor

              Yes, it must have been. I was not sure for how long they had kept it, but now I see that it’s still the incumbent Rosenkavalier there, and was so with the cast you describe. That production has made the rounds in its 22 years: Salzburg, Paris, Milan, Baden-Baden, probably elsewhere.

              I think more highly of it than you do, and I like other work by the late Wernicke I’ve seen.

            • We left because we were bored. Not entirely the production’s fault, either.

            • PCally

              Not surprising at all. Lott was a terrific singer and the video under Kleiber is a musically terrific performance and she’s quite moving, as well as very witty. But porgy is probably correct about different venues bringing out the best in her. Lott was my first ever Marschallin when she sang it at the met and I don’t really remember her making all that much of an impression (same for Von Otter and Bonney actually and I LOVE them as well in those roles, so maybe it was just an off night or the opera itself wasn’t really doing it for me). I also saw Lott when she took over the Figaro run from Fleming when the Miller production premiered and I thought she was lovely, if much smaller in scale than Fleming, and even more movingly interpreted.

              Her offenbach performances are also quite delightful, even if she’s miscast.

            • Why miscast?

            • PCally

              I just personally prefer a darker sound with a richer lower range. Crespin immediately springs to mind (her offenbach recordings, though late, are incredible), Von Otter and Von Stade as well, and Larmore recently sang Helene and her DVD is excellent. Most of the music just seems to sit a bit lower than is ideally comfortable for Lott IMO and she overcompensates by really belting out the lower notes full force. She makes up for it with style and musicianship and because she’s totally fun to watch, but sounds a bit threadbare and not very sexy as a basic instrument.

            • PCally!!! How CAN you diss those Rosenkavaliers? They were conducted by Carlos Kleiber!!! Actually I didn’t much like them either. Small scaled and too tightly controlled I thought. But then it could be that Carlos (all first names dedicated to the judgmental, clueless moron complaining about the use of such in informal ‘Net communications and the true DUNDERHEAD who feels it has to explain EVERYTHING but is dumb as rancid shit), had had it with the Met. That was his last run there.

              My favorite memory was backstage at the first night where a hulking character tenor fell to his knees at Anne Sophie’s feet in “awe”. Taken by surprise she kicked him in the chest! (Lovely girl that Anne Sophie!)

              But I always loved Felicity Lott (If I were really being mean I’d use her notorious nick name). It wasn’t an “A class” voice but she got the most out of what she had and was wonderful in characterizing her roles. I loved that Countess though it was a great role for MS. FLEMING, but Lott had a genuine aristocratic distinction with abundant vulnerability. I had dinner after with her and others afterwards, and she was enchanting. I have always adored her Anne (can we use the first names of characters, or does the idiot think that is PRETENTIOUS too?) even though it isn’t the best sung I’ve heard. But that Haitink performance is unforgettable.

              Her Louise is wonderful too (endless, terrible opera but she is riveting). And e’en now (can I use e’en or is that PRETENTIOUS, AND NOT DONE IN THE MORON’S MIND?) I am listening to her fabulous Poulenc record, Voyage a Paris (she does the lion’s share of the songs with the amazing accompaniments of Graham Johnson but the great Anthony Rolfe-Johnson gets a few numbers in).

              And the Belle Helene is heaven, too.

              And HOW COULD NPW-PARIS hate the Wernicke production of Rosenkavalier? I LOVED IT. (I forgive you NPR, even for defending the moron). It was really marvelous in the house, but the DVD (note complete and wonderfully conducted by Thielemann) is good too. Herbert gets what people of taste (like NPW) don’t like about Rosenkavalier, has fun sending it up a bit and puts it importantly in a “realistic” context so the falseness of the story and plush fakery of the music is shown for what it is, “culinary”. Herbert also did a great Frau at the Met — scrubbed of all its distinction in the revival.

              I do think, PCally, the better Kleiber video of Rosenkavalier is from Munich with Gwynnie, Brigitte and Lucia — Gwynnie is just irresistible. She doesn’t try for the “great lady” BS (“Resi” tells us she comes from a lower class than her husband), but is a very spirited, sexy, still young woman, a bit spoiled and given to a sustained pout, but a “regular sort”. I love that characterization. She sings pretty well too, much lighter than she usually was with better focus.

            • Liz.S

              I thank you Mrs John Claggart. Not only about great C.Kleiber but I always want to hear things I didn’t get to know about Wernicke (I almost posted a note -- “tell us more, tell us more about Wernicke” yesterday :-)
              It’s a shame Frosch at the Met I was so amazed at (he’s truly a sorcerer of Licht!) was “scrubbed of all its distinction” but still it is a work of genius to get us fascinated by.

            • Yes, Liz.S, that was an amazing Frau as a theatrical experience and Thielemann really did wonderful work. It was probably as good a cast as you could get at that time though I seem to remember that Reinhild Runkel as Die Amme and Eike Wilm Schulte as Der Geisterbote were the best (although then, Voigt had a very impressive upper range if not a lot of personality or interpretive insight.)

              In the revival, Anne Schwanewilms was absolutely wonderful as the Empress, but Jurowski was very loud. Also, he insisted on doing it complete (as had Thielemann) but had been told to get it over with, and he rushed like mad. At the performance I saw, the cast at the end all sad they hadn’t been sure they could make it through act three!

              Oddly, Anne Schwanewilms forced him to meet her half way for her big scene in act three by coming all the way downstage and looking right at him with eyes that flashed: slow down! (I was sitting very close.) Christine Goerke who had had some wonderful moments but had decided not to fight Jurowski, said to me, “hmmm, maybe I should have done that.” But such is not her nature.

              Yes, they had denuded the production and all the light magic had gone.

              Thielemann was also great in Berlin, with two very funny American ladies in the leading roles. One simply refused to learn the Empress’ spoken lines in act three. Thielemann had been patient with her and given her a deadline, but at the dress she still didn’t know them. When he remonstrated she screamed, “Let HER do it, and I’ll mime!!!!” This was about the other American lady who indeed had done both parts. There was nothing for it. She yelled the lines from just offstage and the (very large) Empress did some kind of mouthing and physical gyrations pretending she was speaking, fooling no one. I didn’t think he would get over it (I was there because I had met him in Bologna when he was head of the opera company and knew someone in his orbit).

            • Liz.S

              God… if that was “denuded” I can only imagine how marvelous it must have been with Thielemann!!!

              I fell madly in love with Schwanewilms and can’t wait to have her back here before it’s too late (hopefully as Marschallin -- I’m happy we get to hear her soon at a recital)

              I loved all your anecdotes -- they made me smile -- so precious! -- we want to hear more of those :-)

              I have to confess just one thing -- that is dear to my heart -- I may sound naïve to you -- but I admire Jurowski. For me he is one of the most brilliant maestri of my generation.

              Jurowski’s loud, harsh, brisk, he slows down with tender, loving touch — when he thinks necessary. He really dares you with his interpretations with convictions. I’m not exaggerating too much when I say each note even starts to have new raison d’etre to me under his baton. The propulsion to drive the drama or the way he shapes and draws the long arc is something that is worth notable also. Of course take-his interpretations-or-leave-it is up to each audience member, but at least, for me he’s very inspiring -- nothing like those fakesters who just deliver superficial and incoherent take based on what they’ve heard on great recordings in the past (like you-know-who ;-)
              It could be just my own expectations towards conductors. I just love listening to personal and original readings on the score -- it helps deepen my understandings of the piece I feel.

              It’s too bad the Met didn’t allow artistic liberty they grant to Levine or any other established names and tried to enforce time limit on him to avoid paying overtime. I appreciate Jurowski’s decision under the circumstances, though, because I don’t prefer listening to the version with the Met-mandated cuts that doesn’t make much sense.

              But again, how I wish I were around for the initial outings!!! :-)

            • Thank you Liz S. I have seen Jurowski lead some exciting concerts in Philadelphia. The post was between him and YNS. I think they made a mistake, or a calculation that a gay cutie with a friendly nature willing to do LOTS of glad handing was the practical choice (they were still on the brink of bankruptcy) than merely a very gifted conductor.

              The only time he went awry in Philly was a Klagende Lied preceded by Berg’s Drei Orchesterstucke. I went to a rehearsal and he ONLY wanted to do the Mahler and fussed with it a lot. The orchestra had never played the Berg. During the break a delegation asked him to at least read through the Berg once. He was rather abrupt and refused. At the concert Berg was a mess and the Mahler was boring!

              The Frau was led with force and intensity but he did hurtle through it VERY loudly. Every section was faster than the tempo indications/metronomes in the score. I was told there had been a wrangle over cuts and he decided to open them all but realized he had to get through it in record time.

              I liked his Jenufa very much, he really got the rhythmic tension and variation that is essential in the score but hard to execute (even at the piano!), and had very beautifully shaped line (also rather elusive in Janacek). I loved Mattila and Polaski. I went to Pique Dame to hear him, and it was very exciting with a wild feverish abandon. But that cast was really THE DREGS!

              So I do think he’s very, very gifted, but maybe ornery and willful!!!! (I am by contrast, sweet reason and all kindness).

            • Liz.S

              We know you are sweet and so generous, Mrs John Claggart, and now you are making me laugh!
              “Ornery and willful” -- hahaha, yes, he knows exactly what he wants and seems so stubborn, right? :-D

              What a fiasco -- probably klagende Lied was not even close to a satisfactory level for him -- tough choice. 2.5 days is too short to rehearse all that including a piece unfamiliar to the orch. Thank God obviously their relationships ended up very fruitful since then (although I suspect he keeps giving challenges -- I remember dear folks somewhat struggling yet finely playing Bach without vibrato. I guess not many guest conductors ask such a thing to the orch so famous for its Stokowski traditions.)

              What I heard through the grapevine is he actually declined the offer for family reasons (mainly for his young son’s education.) He took a post at Berlin Radio SO, which should allow him to stay more at home with his family (Papa Jurowski also lives nearby I think) -- I’m happy for them.
              You’re right (like always!) -- What Phil Orch needed might be somebody who is willing to participate even in non-artistic activities (e.g. marketing/ fund-raising) and I can see YNS fits that profile. Many Boston SO fans wanted him too, but personally I can’t picture Jurowski throwing a ceremonial pitch in Red Sox uniform -- can you?

            • Porgy Amor

              MrsJC — I agree with much of that, especially re: Lott, but while Thielemann’s Baden-Baden Rosenkavalier opens more cuts than most prior ones on DVD/Blu-ray, he (like Bychkov) does take a few. I wouldn’t be able to cite all of them, but there is one I always listen for, because so many take it; I call it the “pre-Tokay cut.” From Sophie’s “Jetzt lässt er mich so steh’n” through the cross-talk between Marianne and Ochs, including Marianne’s delightful advice that if Sophie doesn’t like what she sees from the front, she should check out the view from the back. Thielemann takes the traditional abridgement, eliminating that little episode of four bars (but many words!). He cuts from the Baron’s talk about bastards among the aristocracy to Faninal offering the Tokay.

            • Rick

              I always enjoy your postings for their immense knowledge and for sharing your waste first hand knowledge from your long and undoubtedly both impressive and illustrous career. A pity, though, that you have to be so judgmental about people seeing things differently than you and be so certain about your own infallibility. And be so rude in your dismissal of such other people. Well, I guess some people think this kind of rudeness candor (just like some people think Donald Trump is honest, mainly because he lack all sense of decorum) and, thus, an admirable quality.
              Well, I guess I will survive.
              And I wish you a lovely evening and a wonderful Sunday.

            • Liz.S

              Pepsi, anyone?

              Jokes aside, I’m sorry you’re offended and he may be a bit too harsh but the culture of calling somebody you adore and respect by first name is too trivial to discuss about for me compared to the heart of discussions going on here.

            • Rick

              I’m not offended -- but I do find it strange that people who are obviously both cultured and intelligent and extremely knowledgeable have this need to resort to name calling and rudeness in a manner that is not too dissimilar from that of President Trump. It should be possible to disagree and still remain civil and polite, right?

            • Luvtennis


              I found your initial remarks condescending and rude (and uninformed). I did not respond in kind, however, because I try to be civil and polite on these threads….

              Why not comment on the topic at hand, rather than on the harmless idiosyncracies of other commenters? It’s always great to have new voices contribute substantively to the discussion.

              And thank you, Mrs. JC.

              But what about the Sawallisch production????? Or the Loy production, which I have come to love as an example of an interventionist production that is completely thought out and consistent in its aims, even if it plays a little loose with the actual “events” which apparently inspired it.

              And speaking of Herr Trump, I could see a production based on his family! Ick!!!!! But also hmmmm. Lol!

            • Porgy Amor

              I love Ichikawa’s Frau ohne Schatten production on the ’92 Sawallisch DVD with De Vol, J. Martin, Lipovsek, Seiffert, and Titus. I remember someone else on one of these threads, years ago, claiming to have found it overly restrained, “Japanese prudery” that blunted the opera’s emotional wallop. Not my reaction. I thought it was so delicate and compassionate, full of humanity. The part I always remember first is Barak and Wife winding that cloth in the first act, coming closer and closer together, and then he embraces her and all these things are going on at once with Martin’s performance, all these conflicting impulses. She has no idea how to react. There is lot of really lovely work in it, in both design and direction.

              I’ve seen only one other opera production by Ichikawa, a Golden Cockerel (cond. Nagano) that was similarly kabukified, and also gorgeous, but it’s a very different kind of opera.

            • Luvtennis

              I love the stylization of it -- the assumed air of formal antiquity -- which is for me akin to the spirit of the opera itself, manifested thru a decidedly non-European aesthetic. And of course the opera is set in the mythical South Seas, right?

            • Very mythical, those south seas!

            • Luvtennis

              Lol! Well, they are as portrayed in the opera!

            • Rick

              Dear Luvtennis,
              I apologize profusely to have been condescending and rude to you. That was not my intention. In hindsight, i can see that I could have phrased my post in a less judgmental manner.
              I cannot see in what way my post was uninformed (as I only stated what is my personal preference, namely to avoid using first names by themselves, unless such first name is generally used in that manner) -- but maybe it was.


            • Luvtennis

              You were not informed of certain informalities that are quite common among the posters here. But no matter, apology accepted. ???? And I have found that Mrs. JC’s ire, however terrible in its searing majesty, is almost always prompted by readily discernible and admirable (however uncomfortable) reason.

              Also, one of the very best features of this site is the presence of persons who don’t just observe art, but make it (sometimes in their comments, which is cool).

            • Rick


            • I didn’t say I hated it. I stayed for two acts out of three, after all…

            • I’ll be back in Brussels tomorrow for Hosokawa’s Matsukaze. Fascinating synopsis, full of action and intrigue. I see there’s no interval so no escape…


              On a beach, a monk on a pilgrimage discovers a single pine tree on which
              two names have been carved: Matsukaze (Wind in the Pine Trees) and
              Murasame (Autumn Rain), the names of two sisters who are buried nearby.
              He falls asleep next to a shed for storing salt. Matsukaze and Murasame
              fill their buckets with seaweed and leave the beach. Their arrival
              awakens the monk; they offer him shelter. A gust of wind reminds them of
              a poem by Yukihira, whose name throws them into confusion. They tell
              the monk that this man, whom they loved, left them centuries before,
              leaving them this poem. The monk says that they are sinners. This
              feverish evocation leads to them confusing the lost lover with the pine
              tree on the beach. In their delirium, they dance around the solitary
              tree. The monk is woken by a wild sea. The beach is deserted; there is
              no shed. He resumes his journey. The green pine tree remains behind,
              alone and exposed to the wind’s blasts.

  • Thanks so much, Chris. Can’t wait to have a listen!

  • Peter

    What the hell. I skipped right to the “silberne ros’n”. She doesn’t disappoint!

  • The Cuban Stallion

    I was selfishly looking for the final Trio but failed to do so. The end of the recording seems to be the end of Act I. Sono confuso…Am I missing something here?

    • WindyCityOperaman

      No, the entire performance is here. I suggest you download the entire mp3 file to your PC and then use your audio player to find the final trio at about the 2hr:48min mark

      • The Cuban Stallion

        Thanks, will do!