Strauss: Orchestral Lieder; Closing scene from Capriccio; Second Waltz Suite from Der Rosenkavalier

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COMPOSERS: Strauss
LABELS: Melba
WORKS: Orchestral Lieder; Closing scene from Capriccio; Second Waltz Suite from Der Rosenkavalier
PERFORMER: Steve Davislim (tenor); State Orchestra of Victoria/Simone Young
CATALOGUE NO: 301081 (email: info@melbarecordings. com.au)
The years drop off Richard Strauss (why do we so often see – and hear – him as hoary-headed, I wonder?) in this new disc of his orchestrated songs. The young Australian tenor Steve Davislim is a widely sought-after Mozartian – no bad qualification for Strauss – and his lithe, rhythmically and verbally alert tenor has the red blood surging from the start, in a performance of ‘Heimliche Aufforderung’ whose buoyancy emphasises the heady drinking song within the love song.

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Davislim’s sense of line, and warm, supple legato create an ‘Allerseelen’ and a ‘Morgen!’ without indulgence, where tender sentiment never slides over into sentimentality. And a combination of youthful ardour and rhythmic rigour makes ‘Ständchen’ really live, lightly suspended in quivering air. Simone Young’s instinctive sense for pacing in Strauss fuses with Davislim’s Classical elegance in a nicely judged ‘Der Rosenband’; and Davislim’s smiling nobility of tone recreates exactly that sense of sanctified ecstasy unique to Strauss in songs such as ‘Ich trage meine Minne’.

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This selection of some of Strauss’s most mouth-watering songs comes with two orchestral lollipops, from Capriccio and from Der Rosenkavalier, and excellent booklet notes from Michael Kennedy by way of bonus. Hilary Finch