At Wahnfried; McGregor
On Sunday 13th at 4pm we celebrate Richard Strauss’s birthday (on the 11th June) with a Documentary RICHARD STRAUSS AND HIS HEROINES (52 mins) in English and German with English subtitles. Followed by a GALA CONCERT of his music. (1h40mins)
The film explores Strauss’ relationship to women. The primary focus lies on his attachment to Pauline, his wife of more than 55 years. Strauss experienced the most varied of epochs in German history, from the Empire to Nazi dictatorship and the post-war period. How did the image of women change in this time and what influence did it have on Strauss’ work? And above all: how did Strauss achieve to express the finest feminine feelings in his music? Exploring these questions we meet Strauss’ last surviving grandchild who has first-hand experience with the married life of his grandparents. Interviews with the great Strauss singers Brigitte Fassbaender, Renée Fleming, Dame Gwyneth Jones and Christa Ludwig who report on their famous Strauss roles, Rufus Wainwright, conductor Franz Welser-Möst and other Strauss experts lead us through the film. Richard Strauss and his Heroines is the first filmed documentation about the unforgettable heroines created by Strauss and how they affected his life and his marriage.
GALA: Christine Goerke, Anja Harteros, Camilla Nylund, Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Christian Thielemann. This exceptional programme of highlights from Richard Strauss´s works Der Rosenkavalier, Feuersnot, Salome, Elektra, Die ägyptische Helena, Arabella, Die schweigsame Frau and Daphne was dedicated to Richard Strauss' 150th birthday in Dresden. The reputation of the Staatskapelle Dresden results from the special relation to Richard Strauss and his works, which started 130 years ago, performing many world premieres of Richard Strauss´s operas and orchestral works.
‘’ Here one has what is considered the World’s most distinguished Strauss orchestra – under the direction of no less than Thielemann at the famous Dresden Semperoper in an impeccable performance of five vocal scenes (shared between three renowned Strauss sopranos) and four orchestral episodes, representing each of the nine operas premiered in Dresden from Feuersnot in 1901 to Daphne in 1938. The performances are extremely well done and the camera work in synchronisation with the scoring is indeed excellent, as well as the audio dynamics.’’
‘’ On this disc, the rich luminous playing is wonderfully caught-detailed, and offering the best sonic results I have yet experienced from this medium.
The playing is to die for! Sublime does not cover it!
The purely orchestral sections are magnificent-both waltz sequences from Rosenkavalier, with the second being particularly affecting-fragments from Intermezzo and Schweigsame Frau are beautiful, but perhaps the most exquisite is the Love Scene from Feuersnot. Thielemann included this on his first recording for DG, and with this orchestra he has refined his reading to the most sumptuous and delicious morsel.
The vocal numbers are no less successful. I had not heard Christine Goerke sing previously, and all I can say is that what a pity she did not replace Herlitzius on the complete Elektra recording -her "Allein, Ganz Allein" from that work is stunning. She bestrides each phrase with security and refulgent tone, and her Closing Scene from Salome is no less accomplished.
Anja Harteros, darling of the German Opera Scene displays why in her beautifully touching final scene from Arabella, but the real surprise-and joy-is Camilla Nylund in her 2 numbers.’’ Amazon .com reviewers
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