Thursday, June 21, 2007

Strauss on Sirius, Part 1

Went through the 1965 Met Salome with Nilsson I taped off Sirius' Met Channel last week. Great performance. Nilsson (in her only Met broadcast) completely tears the roof off. Talk about fearless high Bs. And Karl Liebl's Herod was very strongly sung. He doesn't put on much of an affected voice which can be a problem with roles like these (Mime and Beckmesser also can suffer from this). I sat listening with the score and found lots of new things. I'll probaby listen to one of the Elektras next. Here is Time's review of the 1965 Met Salome.

Watched some of the Barenboim on Beethoven DVD set last night - the Hammerklavier. As you'd expect, this one really makes Barenboim sweat. I'm gonna get out the score and work on this one a bit.

Loads of Strauss on the weekend, too. Listened to the Oboe Concerto and Duett Concertino (both conducted by Kempe) and in the evening watched Act I of Die Frau ohne Schatten (the Friedrich/Solti production from Salzburg). Will be watching it again soon because Liz wants to see it. That whole act has to be one of the greatest things Strauss ever did. Leon Bottstein wrote an article in a collection of Strauss essays calling for a revisionist view of Strauss's ouvre. He rightly challenges the idea that Strauss's powers somehow fell off after Elektra only to rebound mysteriously post-1945. One of my favorite parts of the article is when he speculates that Salome, Elektra and Rosenkavalier would one day be regarded as dated and that Die Frau ohne Schatten, Intermezzo and Die ägyptische Helena would be regarded as the forward-looking works. I doubt the first 3 are going anywhere, but Frau has been steadily gaining in popularity and Helena is even showing some movement. Someone needs to talk Renée Fleming into recording Intermezzo to give that one a kickstart.

1 comment:

Colby Cosh said...

And Karl Liebl's Herod was very strongly sung. He doesn't put on much of an affected voice which can be a problem with roles like these (Mime and Beckmesser also can suffer from this).

Clearly Liebl is neglecting his sacred artistic duty towards the great anti-Semitic caricatures of the German opera tradition.