Author Topic: Richard Strauss's house  (Read 92053 times)

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Offline Guido

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2010, 03:03:05 PM »
Karajan

Levine

Solti

Masur

Karajan still in print, the other ones easily to be had used/new from 3rd party sellers. Only Sinopoli (perhaps my favorite) is oop and not easily had for little money.

These all look like they are Ariadne II, rather than Ariadne I. Unless they've just tagged the prologue onto Ariadne I... I have the Karajan  actually, and it is Ariadne II as far as I am aware.
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jlaurson

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #61 on: July 28, 2010, 09:21:56 PM »
These all look like they are Ariadne II, rather than Ariadne I. Unless they've just tagged the prologue onto Ariadne I... I have the Karajan  actually, and it is Ariadne II as far as I am aware.

Oh, "I" meant "1"... and I thought it was an errant "i" with no meaning.

Offline mjwal

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #62 on: July 29, 2010, 04:08:30 AM »
Without doing any checking: I thought Ariadne I was basically the 2nd part of the opera we know i.e. the actual presentation of Ariadne on Naxos, played after a performance of a German-language version of Molière's Le bourgeois gentilhomme with the well-known Strauss music as accompaniment. Is anybody up for a couple of hours of Der Bürger als Edelmann before digging into the opera bit? How many CDs would that be? The whole point of the revised version is to present a modern prologue in the tradition of Molière, which of course Hofmannsthal accomplished with bravura.
The Sinopoli version now on Brilliant is very fine in its way, orchestrally the best, but I persist in regarding two "lives" by Karl Böhm (not otherwise one of my favorite conductors) as the nec plus ultra of Strauss interpretation (apart from Clemens Krauss`s Rosenkavalier), both with Irmgard Seefried as the definitive Composer, in pretty murky sound unfortunately - 1944 (Reining, Lorenz, Noni) and 1954 (della Casa, Güden...only Schock is a bit overparted, compared with Lorenz in 44). Then come the Karajan and the Kempe. I used to agree with those who denigrate the ending in comparison with the rest - but if you can hear it as the almost Rilkean Verwandlung or Übersteigung it becomes with Böhm/Reining/Lorenz, as transformative ecstasy, as one does parts of the Alpine symphony, then it works - as Straussian illusion, of course - "du meine Zauberin"...
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 04:10:28 AM by mjwal »
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Offline knight66

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #63 on: July 29, 2010, 05:40:02 AM »
I am unclear whether I have the wrong end of the stick. I am assuming the request is about the original version of 1912, written to be paired with 'Der Burger als Edlemann' (le Bourgeois gentlehomme).

The normal version we hear is the revised 1916 one.

One recording exists of the original version and it is paired as above. Nagano on Virgin Classics. Margaret Price is still worth hearing, though in 1997 was a little past her very best. In version 1, the play is performed and not the prologe, so no Composer. There are a number of other alterations, but that is the most obvious one.

Mike

EDIT: I have just been going through the discs. The play is much cut and there is a lot more music within it than I had recalled.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 08:18:51 AM by knight »
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Offline Guido

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #64 on: July 29, 2010, 07:46:08 AM »
Without doing any checking: I thought Ariadne I was basically the 2nd part of the opera we know i.e. the actual presentation of Ariadne on Naxos, played after a performance of a German-language version of Molière's Le bourgeois gentilhomme with the well-known Strauss music as accompaniment. Is anybody up for a couple of hours of Der Bürger als Edelmann before digging into the opera bit? How many CDs would that be? The whole point of the revised version is to present a modern prologue in the tradition of Molière, which of course Hofmannsthal accomplished with bravura.
The Sinopoli version now on Brilliant is very fine in its way, orchestrally the best, but I persist in regarding two "lives" by Karl Böhm (not otherwise one of my favorite conductors) as the nec plus ultra of Strauss interpretation (apart from Clemens Krauss`s Rosenkavalier), both with Irmgard Seefried as the definitive Composer, in pretty murky sound unfortunately - 1944 (Reining, Lorenz, Noni) and 1954 (della Casa, Güden...only Schock is a bit overparted, compared with Lorenz in 44). Then come the Karajan and the Kempe. I used to agree with those who denigrate the ending in comparison with the rest - but if you can hear it as the almost Rilkean Verwandlung or Übersteigung it becomes with Böhm/Reining/Lorenz, as transformative ecstasy, as one does parts of the Alpine symphony, then it works - as Straussian illusion, of course - "du meine Zauberin"...

Although it is similar, there are several differences (aside from the prologue being absent). In Ariadne I, Zerbinetta's aria is 80 bars longer, she has a second aria at the end, and there is less buffo commentary. It's a more serious work, and many say that it is finer, though I think the prologue is one of the most brilliant things that Strauss ever wrote. Mike is right in what he says about the versions.

Thanks Mike - I'll definitely try and get it.
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Offline knight66

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #65 on: July 29, 2010, 07:52:27 AM »
Guido, Good luck, let me know what you think of it. I need to give it another spin. The play is definitely a curiosity and I frankly don't get much out of it, music aside,  but the Version 1 of Ariadne is as you suggest different in its feel. Sumi Jo is an excellent Zerbinetta and From what I recall, Nagano brings to the fore the beautiful textures.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,555.msg435682.html#msg435682

Post 151: a review of a Strauss song disc.

Mike
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #66 on: July 29, 2010, 07:56:32 AM »
The real glory of Richard Strauss to be found in his operas

I disagree wholeheartedly with this statement. A lot of thought, time, heart, and effort were put into his orchestral works, especially the tone poems. The full glory of Strauss is in the marvellous orchestration and the rich melodies. Opera didn't happen for Strauss until later on in his life. To ignore his orchestral output would be to ignore his music in general.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #67 on: July 29, 2010, 08:10:59 AM »
Here are a few of my favorite Strauss recordings:
 

 

 

 
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

jlaurson

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #68 on: July 29, 2010, 08:19:33 AM »
I disagree wholeheartedly with this statement. A lot of thought, time, heart, and effort were put into his orchestral works, especially the tone poems. The full glory of Strauss is in the marvellous orchestration and the rich melodies. Opera didn't happen for Strauss until later on in his life. To ignore his orchestral output would be to ignore his music in general.

The question is not about ignoring it, the question is about finding a heigthened value. I adore Strauss' tone poems, but without his operas, he'd be a second rank composer; not even a match for Bruckner or Mahler.

Anyone who appreciates his operas, however, will know better. It's the refinement of his art (nor did he start that late with them...). Talking about orchestration is talking about his operas. Making an arbitrary cut at Alpensinfonie would sell Strauss short.

Scarpia

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #69 on: July 29, 2010, 08:21:00 AM »
To ignore his orchestral output would be to ignore his music in general.

To ignore his orchestral output would be to ignore half of his music in general.  Although I came to Strauss first through orchestral music, I feel he came into his own when he started to write Opera.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #70 on: July 29, 2010, 08:33:52 AM »
The question is not about ignoring it, the question is about finding a heigthened value. I adore Strauss' tone poems, but without his operas, he'd be a second rank composer; not even a match for Bruckner or Mahler.

Anyone who appreciates his operas, however, will know better. It's the refinement of his art (nor did he start that late with them...). Talking about orchestration is talking about his operas. Making an arbitrary cut at Alpensinfonie would sell Strauss short.


Well that is your opinion and you have every right to it, doesn't mean I agree with it. Your remark about Mahler and Bruckner is totally ignorant. Music isn't about competition. If Strauss never touched opera, he would still be a great composer and far from a "second rank" one as you suggest. Nobody sounds like Strauss and he had a unique compositional voice.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 08:37:58 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #71 on: July 29, 2010, 08:39:17 AM »
To ignore his orchestral output would be to ignore half of his music in general.  Although I came to Strauss first through orchestral music, I feel he came into his own when he started to write Opera.


Considering that I HATE opera, I could careless how well he wrote for it.
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Scarpia

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #72 on: July 29, 2010, 08:40:12 AM »

Considering that I HATE opera, I could careless how well he wrote for it.

Maybe you wouldn't hate it so much if you listened to Strauss.   8)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #73 on: July 29, 2010, 08:44:14 AM »
Maybe you wouldn't hate it so much if you listened to Strauss.   8)


I doubt it Scarpia. There are only a few operas I actually can tolerate: Delius' A Village Romeo & Juliet and Fennimore And Gerda and Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande. I enjoyed these pretty well. I have heard good things about RVW's operas as well.


I'm not much into vocals, so this is perhaps one reason opera has never appealed to me.
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Scarpia

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #74 on: July 29, 2010, 08:51:34 AM »
I'm not much into vocals, so this is perhaps one reason opera has never appealed to me.

Strauss Opera has some ravishing orchestral music.

Offline Guido

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #75 on: July 29, 2010, 08:52:06 AM »
I disagree wholeheartedly with this statement. A lot of thought, time, heart, and effort were put into his orchestral works, especially the tone poems. The full glory of Strauss is in the marvellous orchestration and the rich melodies. Opera didn't happen for Strauss until later on in his life. To ignore his orchestral output would be to ignore his music in general.

The tone poems were arguably the more important in terms of the history of music, i.e. in terms of how influential to subsequent composers they were, though Salome and Elektra certainly opened the way towards expressionist opera. After that he tended to do his own thing with little regard to the musical establishment (and vice versa). Like the operas, many of the tone poems are flawed, but survive because they contain much great music and can dazzle like almost no other composer. Pieces like Don Quixote and Till Eulenspiegel though are without question as glorious as his best operatic creations.

As an avid (rabid?) Straussian myself, I can see all too well his limitations and weaknesses and fully acknowledge that large swathes of his music are uninspired. Alpensinfonie for instance is a tawdry work for all its impressive effects and supposed grandness of spiritual message. There are passages of astonishing descriptive detail, let alone visceral power, and much is beautiful, but much is also humdrum, and as was so often the case with Strauss - if his heart wasn't completely in it, the result is perfectly and brilliantly executed banality. In this regard it is analogous to Die Frau Ohne Schatten (and isn't it interesting that those who love the Alpensinfonie tend also to love poor Frosch as well!).

Josephslegende is much worse.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 09:10:38 AM by Guido »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #76 on: July 29, 2010, 08:59:28 AM »
Strauss Opera has some ravishing orchestral music.


I'll opt out for the suites then. :D
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Offline Guido

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #77 on: July 29, 2010, 09:03:22 AM »
Strauss Opera has some ravishing orchestral music.

Yes definitely - just in Capriccio there's the wonderful Mondscheinmusik and the sextet overture, the verwandlung and Mondscheinmusik in Daphne (i.e. the final scene, which is essentially orchestral with vocalise), The Zwischenspiel in Danae, both overtures in Ariadne. These are all amongst the most gorgeous things that Strauss wrote and no one who loves his orchestral music should be without them.

There are quite a few suites and fragments arranged from the operas too, but I've never got much pleasure out of those. Most seem rather tired and humdrum to me - the Danae fragment is OK, but the Rosenkavalier waltz suites are just awful, and the one from Die Frau Ohne Schatten also wholly fails to convince. The interludes from Intermezzo are, aptly enough, the best music in the opera though and well worth searching out!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 09:14:22 AM by Guido »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #78 on: July 29, 2010, 09:09:10 AM »
Yes definitely - just in Capriccio there's the wonderful Mondscheinmusik and the sextet overture, the verwandlung and Mondscheinmusik in Danae (i.e. the final scene, which is essentially orchestral with vocalise), The Zwischenspiel in Danae, both overtures in Ariadne. These are all amongst the most gorgeous things that Strauss wrote and no one who loves his orchestral music should be without them.

There are quite a few suites and fragments arranged from the operas too, but I've never got much pleasure out of those. Most seem rather tired and humdrum to me - the Danae fragment is OK, but the Rosenkavalier waltz suites are just awful, and the Frau Ohne Schatten also wholly fails to convince. The interludes from Intermezzo are, aptly enough, the best music in the opera though and well worth searching out!


I'll just stick with his orchestral music like I always have. Screw the operas.
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Offline Guido

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #79 on: July 29, 2010, 09:12:23 AM »

I'll just stick with his orchestral music like I always have. Screw the operas.

OK whatever, but believe me, the fragments I listed are probably his most beautiful purely orchestral utterances.
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