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.
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’.
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