RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949) Der
Rosenkavalier (1910) - highlights - Opera in English
Act I opening 8.28
Act I conclusion 21.24
Act II opening 13.01
Act II conclusion 13.05
Act III conclusion 23.08
Feldmarschallin - Yvonne Kenny Baron Ochs - John Tomlinson Octavian - Diana
Montague Faninal - Andrew Shore Sophie - Rosemary Joshua Marianne - Jennifer
Rhys-Davies Annina - Elizabeth Vaughan Peter Kay Children's Choir Geoffrey
Mitchell Choir LPO/David Parry
As a sequence of highlights this really has no competition. In addition it
is the only recording in which the opera is sung in English. All of these
objective factors mark this out as a unique event. If that was all it might
well rate a rather dull place in a book of 'firsts'. However the fact is
that this is also a champagne event in which exuberance, dainty romance and
erotic longing lay a doughty claim to the emotions and attention.
The opera will be well known to many and quite a few of them will know the
piece from either of the two Karajan recordings and with them it does not
truly compete but ONLY in the sense that we are dealing with highlights and
with the libretto sung in English.
Given the generosity (difficult to see how more could have been given) and
artistic coherence of the selection it is difficult to see how this can be
bettered except by giving us the whole opera. There will be a few who might
be tempted to pass this disc by on the other side of the path however if
they do they will miss some of the creamiest singing and defiantly tempting
orchestral playing ever accorded to this work. Examples are legion but for
me the sunlit Nietszchean blare of the whooping horns in the first few moments
and the words 'Bliss is too deep to understand' say it all.
The singers are a delight and one can easily see how this disc will be taken
as providing a representative sampling of the voices (especially female)
of the ever-changeful British operatic tradition. The notes are very full
and both the CD case and the 80 page booklet (with full texts - I note some
disparities with what is actually sung) are accommodated in a card slipcase.
Anyone at all intrigued by opera would do well to get this disc and not to
write it off as another helping of bleeding chunks. Regret that the whole
opera is not supplied but delight in what is here.
This CD serves the British operatic world and the demystifying mission of
Opera in English very well indeed. Thank you Chandos and Peter Moores Foundation.
Together you are laying the way for a much broader and self-renewing audience
for opera in this country. Fortunately this essential evangelical drive is
at the service of some glorious music-making.