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Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier / Renée Fleming, Sophie Koch, Diana Damrau, Franz Hawlata, Jonas Kaufmann

Notes & Reviews:

Decca's first CD release of Der Rosenkavalier since the legendary Solti recording of the late 1960s.

Recorded at the Bade-Baden Festival in January 2009 and featuring what conductor Christian Thielemann called a "galactic cast".

Renee Fleming stars as the Marschallin - in what is surely the central role of her repertoire. She is joined by Sophie Koch as Octavian, Diana Damrau as Sofie, Franz Hawlata as Ochs, and the luxury casting of Jonas Kaufmann as the Italian tenor.

Previously released on Decca DVD and Blu-ray, the recording has been re-mastered for this CD release.

Of Renee Fleming in Rosenkavalier, the International Herlad Tribune wrote: Her soprano is not only beautifully in place for the music, but is employed with a rare flexibility and sensitivity for the text.

BBC Music Magazine
[Fleming] speaks volumes with those expressive eyes and floats the trio's opening phrase to perfection...Sophie Koch produces rich, impassioned sounds and makes a convincing boy...Kaufmann [is] handsome and oddly impressive as the Italian tenor.

The Guardian
We have Christian Thielemann's immaculately bittersweet conducting and Renée Fleming's Marschallin, sung and acted with superb conviction...Watch out, meanwhile, for Jonas Kaufmann's brief, but sensational appearance as the Italian Tenor.

Sunday Times, October 2012
Fleming's Marschallin is caught 10 years too late in terms of vocal freshness, but her voice supplies the cream quotient in duet and trio with Sophie Koch's forceful Octavian and Diana Damrau's silvery Sophie. Franz Hawlata's weather-beaten Ochs still has character, while the conducting reveals astonishing detail in Strauss's orchestration.

The Telegraph, 17th January 2013
This recording...demonstrates [Thielemann's] capacity to combine warmth and depth of texture with clarity of detail and unfailing responsiveness to the nuances of text and character. There's wit here, too, and an immaculately judged playfulness in the waltzes...The Munich Philharmonic has this music in its blood: the string playing is sublime.

Gramophone Magazine, February 2013
Damrau (Sophie) seems to have the golden touch with most everything she sings and Sophie Koch (Octavian) is better heard than seen in the DVD's unflattering costumes...The microphones catch a brittle edge in Fleming's otherwise intelligently conceived Marschallin...Franz Hawlata sings the oft-declaimed role of Baron Ochs in ways that lose none of the character's comic edge.


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