Wednesday, June 11, 2008

From Empress to Countess, Egypt to Don Juan: My Favorite German Composer, Strauss!!!!!

Today is the birthday of the all-powerful Richard Strauss. I celebrated by watching Der Rosenkavalier (with Kiri te Kanawa, Anne Howells, and Barbara Bonney) and it reminded me of how much I absolutely adore the final trio. From the moment the Marschallin says "I promised myself that I would bear this calmly" (loose translation, I don't speak German) I had tears coming down my cheeks. It's heart wrenching!
Oh and how about that "Presentation of the Rose"???? Talk about some of the most beautiful music written in the stratosphere of the soprano/mezzo soprano range! It's tough to sing along to, let me tell you... But, oh, is it beautiful!!!!
"Di Rigori Armato" is also a gorrrrgeous tenor aria from the first act of Rosenkavalier. I love it most, of course, when the great Pavarotti sings it. =)

Another marvelous Strauss opera is Capriccio. A "one act wonder" that some people steer away from because, seemingly, it has no plot. Indeed, it has a plot and a very profound one! Music or words, which is more important? The best part of it is.... you never really find out. =) Tricky, tricky, Strauss!!!! Undoubtedly the most miraculous part of this opera is the final scene.

Some other Strauss wonders are Die Agyptische Helena, Don Juan, The Four Last Songs, and so many other things you must discover for yourself. Strauss is a force of nature!

Happy Birthday, Richard Strauss!!!

Happy Listening!! =)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Joyce Didonato made a comment in an interview about the "Strauss click", meaning that it takes time to "get him" but all of a sudden you do. I don't yet, but if it took Joyce time then I'm not feeling so bad.