Magazine article Musical Opinion

Berlin: Deutsche Staatsoper at the Schiller Theater.: Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Berlin: Deutsche Staatsoper at the Schiller Theater.: Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier

Article excerpt

Any appearance by Simon Rattle on the operatic podium is interesting and especially in the town where he is based. So the first night of Der Rosenkavalier became a must see and hear show. As is his custom, he came on stage himself to let us know that Peter Rose had cancelled his performance of Ochs and that Alfred Muff had been found at the last minute to replace him. It was a freezing cold evening outside and we all hoped that Strauss's potboiler would warm our hearts if not our bodies. Rattle is an uneven conductor but always interesting to hear, his rhythms were incisive and Barenboim's orchestra responded with enthusiasm to his full sound approach and there was even space for quiet playing which sounded delicious. His best moment came in the third act, the heavy chords reinforcing Ochs fall to earth were inimitable Rattle's trademark, we all shook and fell with him. And of course he showed us that he can waltz well in the second act. His reading was at a high level of performance and the orchestra responded with sumptuous tone and superb soloists, especially Claudia Stein in the flute who sounded very agile and bright toned in the coiffeur scene. Sadly, not everything went according to expectations. Sometimes one got the impression that the roles were too big for the voices and for the type of singers. Not that Dorothea Röschmann is not a proven good singer on this same stage. Her Marschallin was not badly sang, but was monochromatic - a capital sin in a role as complex as this. …

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