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Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten / Solti, Behrens, Domingo

Album Summary

>Strauss, Richard : Die Frau ohne Schatten, Op. 65
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Penguin Guide
Hildegard Behrens' voice has rarely sounded so beautiful on record. The Vienna Philharmonic surpass themselves ... this superb recording is unlikely to be matched, let alone surpassed, for many years. Solti himself is inspired throughout.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
This was the most ambitious project on which Strauss and his librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal collaborated. It's both fairy tale and allegory with a score that's Wagnerian in its scale and breadth. This Solti version presents the score absolutely complete in an opulent recording that encompasses every detail of the work's multi-faceted orchestration.

Nothing escapes his keen eye and ear or that of the Decca engineers. The cast boasts splendid exponents of the two soprano roles. Behrens's vocal acting suggests complete identification with the unsatisfied plight of the Dyer's Wife and her singing has a depth of character to compensate for some tonal wear. Varady gives an intense, poignant account of the Empress's taxing music. The others, though never less than adequate, leave something to be desired.

Domingo sings the Emperor with vigour and strength but evinces little sense of the music's idiom. José van Dam is likewise a vocally impeccable Barak but never penetrates the Dyer's soul. Runkel is a mean, malign Nurse as she should be, though she could be a little more interesting in this part. It benefits from glorious, dedicated playing by the VPO.


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Works Details

>Strauss, Richard : Die Frau ohne Schatten, Op. 65
  • Performers: Elzbieta Ardam (Mezzo Soprano); Hildegard Behrens (Soprano); Rannveig Braga (Mezzo Soprano); Albert Dohmen (Bass Baritone); Placido Domingo (Voice); Gerhard Eder (Bass); Hans Franzen (Bass); Wilfried Gahmlich (Tenor); Robert Gambill (Tenor); Gottfried Hornik (Baritone); Sumi Jo (Soprano); Elisabeth Lang (Alto); Eva Lind (Soprano); Karl Nebenfuhr (Voice); Donna Robin (Soprano); Reinhild Runkel (Mezzo Soprano); Noriko Sasaki (Soprano); Wolfgang Schneider (Bass); Ursula Targler (Soprano); José Van Dam (Voice); Julia Varády (Voice)
  • Conductor: Georg Solti
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1914-17.
  • Running Time: 181 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1914-1917