Magazine article Gramophone

R Strauss: Intermezzo

Magazine article Gramophone

R Strauss: Intermezzo

Article excerpt

R Strauss  Intermezzo  Simone Schneider sop                   Christine Markus Eiche bar                   Robert Storch Martina Welschenbach sop                    Anna Martin Homrich ten                  Baron Lummer Michael Dries bass                        Notary Maria Bulgakova sop                     His Wife Brenden Gunnell ten                        Stroh Marc Kugel bass-bar        Commercial Counsellor Peter Schone bar                Legal Counsellor Gunter Missenhardt bass           Chamber Singer Sophie Mitterhuber sop                      Resl Brigitte Fassbaender spkr           Spoken roles 

Munich Radio Orchestra / Ulf Schirmer CPO [F] [2] CP0777 901-2 (136' * DDD * T/t) Recorded live at the Werdenfelssaal, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, June 7-8,2011

Long dismissed by the squeamish as tastelessly voyeuristic but admired by many whose attitudes to the composer were generally far from favourable, Strauss's 'bourgeois comedy' is among his most interesting and straightforwardly enjoyable works. It has not fared terribly well on disc, though, with Wolfgang Sawallisch's 1980 Munich studio recording for EMI (with Lucia Popp and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau) the main exception. That recording is now available only in a big Warner box (without libretto--5/14), making this new recording particularly welcome--doubly so, since for once CPO has included a full libretto and translation. The superfluous applause at the end of each act (the performance was taped in concert in 2011) is less welcome.

Ulf Schirmer's conducting is light on its feet but alive to the score's humour and tenderness, and he doesn't drive things forwards as much as Sawallisch occasionally does. …

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