Notes & Reviews:
Elisabeth Söderström (1927 - 2009) stars in this live BBC broadcast of Richard Strauss's comic and pioneering opera Intermezzo, recorded at Glyndebourne in 1974. Glyndebourne's George Christie sums up the characteristics of this great artist: "She was a consummate singer / actress - a mistress of bathos and an exquisite comedienne. She was beguilingly beautiful. Audiences fell in love with her as did her team-mates on stage - and off-stage. At Glyndebourne she reigned supreme." The unique performance is now available on CD for the first time as part of Chandos' Opera in English historical series. First performed in 1924, Intermezzo is based on an incident in the often turbulent, but enduring marriage of the composer, Richard Strauss, and his wife, Pauline.
"Söderström herself is often devastating as the musician's wife whose volatile temper masks a lonely vulnerability. There's also a fine performance from Alexander Oliver as Lummer, the aristocratic extortionist who gradually homes in on her."-The Guardian
"In excellent voice, Söderström easily pulls unprepared high pianissimo attacks out of the air and takes any long-lined legato phrase in her stride. Hers is a virtuoso performance, utterly complete in its details yet seemingly spontaneous in every utterance...This is obviously an essential acquisition for all Söderström admirers...but also for all who enjoy the lighter Strauss. ." -International Record Review
"Alas, yet hooray all the same, that it has taken the loss of one of opera's loveliest personalities to lure this recording out of the Radio 3 archives...Söderström finally gets to pull out all the long-lined lyric stops in a love-scene with Marco Bakker's underpowered Storch. When Intermezzo is good, it's great, and a true original. I love it very much, and clearly Söderström did too." -BBC Music Magazine ****
"Elisabeth Söderström was an unforgettable Straussian...it is a delight to have her witty and moving Christine...she is glorious in the lyrical passages." -Sunday Times
Recording information: Glyndebourne (07/13/1974).
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Works DetailsStrauss, Richard : Intermezzo, Op. 72
- Performers: Elisabeth Gale (Soprano); Elisabeth Söderström (Soprano); Marco Bakker (Bass)
- Conductor: John Pritchard
- Notes: Composition written: 1918-23.
- Running Time: 5 min. 53 sec.
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1918-1923