Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Strauss
LABELS: Decca Legends
WORKS: Der Rosenkavalier
PERFORMER: Maria Reining, Ludwig Weber, Sena Jurinac, Alfred Poell, Hilde Gueden, Anton Dermota; Vienna State Opera Chorus, Vienna PO/Erich Kleiber
CATALOGUE NO: 467 111-2 ADD mono Reissue (1954)
A warm welcome to the return of Erich Kleiber’s 1954 performance with the Vienna Philharmonic and a cast of the finest Vienna State Opera-based singers of the day. Kleiber’s way with the score is lighter and more delicate than that of most rival conductors, with the action flowing swiftly even though the work is performed without cuts. To the title role Sena Jurinac brings warmth of timbre and a sympathetic personality. She is an ideal Octavian, and Hilde Gueden is a delightful and thoroughly Viennese Sophie. Ludwig Weber was the ripest Baron Ochs of his time, Anton Dermota delivers the Italian Singer’s aria beautifully, and the smaller roles are all vividly characterised. Maria Reining’s musicianship and complete understanding of the Marschallin more than compensate for the fact that her interpretation was caught somewhat late in her career. Look no further. This is the benchmark recording. Charles Osborne

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