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Thread: Ranking The Operas of Strauss

  1. #31
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    In my opinion the first Strauss opera is Rosenkavalier.

    Salome and Elektra are great and all; but are they Strauss opera's?

    Whilst composing "Ariadne auf Naxos" Strauss wrote a letter to Hofmannsthal (his librettist) in which he mentioned that he now had cast off the Wagnerian armour forever.

    So, the best Strauss opera's are "Ariadne aus Naxos", "Intermezzo", "Capriccio" & "Rosenkavalier".

    The best Strauss-does-Wagner opera's are "Salome" and"Elektra".

    Wagner also created opera's in the style of other composers =>
    Wagner-does-Weber => Die Feen
    Wagner-does-Rossini => Das Liebesverbot
    Wagner-does-Meyerbeer => Rienzi
    Last edited by Andrew Kenneth; Feb-23-2020 at 00:52.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Kenneth View Post
    In my opinion the first Strauss opera is Rosenkavalier.

    Salome and Elektra are great and all; but are they Strauss opera's?

    Whilst composing "Ariadne auf Naxos" Strauss wrote a letter to Hofmannsthal (his librettist) in which he mentioned that he now had cast off the Wagnerian armour forever.

    So, the best Strauss opera's are "Ariadne aus Naxos", "Intermezzo", "Capriccio" & "Rosenkavalier".

    The best Strauss-does-Wagner opera's are "Salome" and"Elektra".

    Wagner also created opera's in the style of other composers =>
    Wagner-does-Weber => Die Feen
    Wagner-does-Rossini => Das Liebesverbot
    Wagner-does-Meyerbeer => Rienzi
    Strange, I never heard any Wagnerian influences in the operas Salome and Elektra. I find Strauss went backwards in his other operas that I know, which I find sort of Viennese. Perhaps my impression of Viennese?

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  4. #33
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    1. Elektra
    2. Salome
    3. Ariadne Auf Naxos
    4. Die Frau Ohne Schatten
    5. Capriccio

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryPenfold View Post
    1. Elektra
    2. Salome
    3. Ariadne Auf Naxos
    4. Die Frau Ohne Schatten
    5. Capriccio
    Just missing Rosenkavalier, otherwise, spot on.
    Last edited by Barbebleu; Feb-23-2020 at 01:30.
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    Strange, I never heard any Wagnerian influences in the operas Salome and Elektra. I find Strauss went backwards in his other operas that I know, which I find sort of Viennese. Perhaps my impression of Viennese?
    I concur. Strauss’s operas are purely his own. No influences as far as I can hear and I’ve been listening to Richard for nearly fifty years!
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

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    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    Just missing Rosenkavalier, otherwise, spot on.
    I'm allergic to Rosenkavalier

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    1
    1) Der Rosenkavalier

    Then in no particular order;
    Ariadne Auf Naxos
    Die Frau Ohne Schatten
    Capriccio
    Elektra
    Salome
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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  12. #38
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    It's interesting to see Elektra and Salome termed as 'Wagnerian-Strauss', where does FROSCH fit in?

    I've heard it said that Strauss wrote operas in two styles: the heavy, modernist; and the lyrical, neo-romantic. I prefer the former and therefore would rate the operas thus:

    1) Elektra - This isn't a mere shabby, little shocker, but a carefully crafted drama where Elektra overplays her emotions, whilst those around her underplay theirs and the results are electric. However, it's all there in the original play. Perhaps you can only fully understand or appreciate this opera if you have known a dysfunctional household of females. No wonder it inspired Freud.

    2) Salome - Another superb portrayal of the female psych. (Again using the words of an excellent play.)

    3) Frau ohne Schatten - Similar in style musically, but with more variety in the composing compared with the first two. However, the libretto isn't as good and it lacks their concise precision.

    4) Rosenkavalier - I've really heard and seen this opera too much (and never heard a satisfactory performance of it). Not a favourite like the three above, but it is a better opera than most of the others, which have rather tedious patches musically.

    5) Arabella - Not as interesting musically as Rosenkavalier and with a weaker libretto, it's not surprising that this opera is possibly slipping out of the rep.

    6) Capriccio - Tedious despite the wonderful final scene.

    7) Daphne - Not particularly memorable

    8) Ariadne - One of my least favourite operas - it feels like it will never end. (The prologue is superb, though.)

    I don't know the others and since I am not keen on some of the most famous (Ariadne and Capriccio) I haven't been tempted to explore further.

    N.
    Last edited by The Conte; Feb-23-2020 at 12:45.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    5) Arabella - Not as interesting musically as Rosenkavalier and with a weaker libretto, it's not surprising that this opera is possibly slipping out of the rep.
    Is there a point where a piece is considered outside the standard rep? Like officially? A certain number of performances per season for instance? Or is more vague than that?

    What other pieces would you put right around that line? I've heard a lot about pieces being revived, but these questions have me much more interested in those instances...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonetan View Post
    Is there a point where a piece is considered outside the standard rep? Like officially? A certain number of performances per season for instance? Or is more vague than that?

    What other pieces would you put right around that line? I've heard a lot about pieces being revived, but these questions have me much more interested in those instances...
    Short answer? No, there isn't a definition of what is in the rep or not. However, as a guide, I wouldn't call any of Meyebeer's operas 'in the rep' (even Les Hugenots is a rarity). I can see all of Strauss' operas other than Elektra, Salome and Rosenkavalier suffering the same fate in a hundred years time.

    N.
    Last edited by The Conte; Feb-23-2020 at 22:48.

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  17. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Kenneth View Post
    In my opinion the first Strauss opera is Rosenkavalier.

    Salome and Elektra are great and all; but are they Strauss opera's?

    Whilst composing "Ariadne auf Naxos" Strauss wrote a letter to Hofmannsthal (his librettist) in which he mentioned that he now had cast off the Wagnerian armour forever.

    So, the best Strauss opera's are "Ariadne aus Naxos", "Intermezzo", "Capriccio" & "Rosenkavalier".

    The best Strauss-does-Wagner opera's are "Salome" and"Elektra".

    Wagner also created opera's in the style of other composers =>
    Wagner-does-Weber => Die Feen
    Wagner-does-Rossini => Das Liebesverbot
    Wagner-does-Meyerbeer => Rienzi
    Strauss may have learned a few musical tricks from Wagner, but Salome and Elektra couldn't be more un-Wagnerian in spirit. Their lurid sensationalism and decadent nihilism is about as far from Wagner's philosophical seriousness, tragic gravity and questing idealism as opera gets. I find them to be musical drag acts, essentially unbelievable but hugely entertaining in their outrageousness, touching little in us deeper than the nerves, which they assault with extremes of sensuality and horror. That is the showman Strauss to the core. If Puccini's Tosca is, according to Joseph Kerman, a "shabby little shocker," Strauss's Elektra is a grotesque big shocker. His later operas are actually closer to Wagner, in that they do at least present life situations not contrived simply to titillate. But Strauss arguably remains most himself when he's exploiting music's capacity for sensual arousal and seduction. I'd say his most Wagnerian opera (except possibly for the early Guntram, which I haven't heard) is Die Frau Ohne Schatten.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Feb-24-2020 at 02:37.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    I'm not a big Strauss opera fan (though I do like his songs).

    That said I've loved Der Rosenkavalierever since I first saw it in a splendid Anthony Besch Scottish Opera production, which starred Helga Dernesch as the Marschallin, Anne Howells as Octavian, Teresa Cahill as Sophie and Michael Langdon as Ochs. I enjoyed it so much that I went back a second time a couple of days later. Soon afterwards I bought the Karajan recording with Schwarzkopf, which remains my favourite recording of the opera. I also love the Paul Czinner film, which has the trio of Schwarzkopf, Jurinac and Rothenberger.

    Of the operas I know, my preference would be

    1. Der Rosenkavalier (even if I find much of the comedy stuff a bit tedious)
    2. Salome
    3. Ariadne auf Naxos
    4. Capriccio
    5. Arabella
    6. Die Aegyptische Helena

    Of the others I don't much like Die Frau ohne Schatten and actively dislike Elektra. I've only heard bits of some of the others.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Feb-25-2020 at 10:29.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    I'm not a big Strauss opera fan (though I do like his songs).

    That said I've loved Der Rosenkavalierever since I first saw it in a splendid Anthony Besch Scottish Opera production, which starred Helga Dernesch as the Marschallin, Anne Howells as Octavian, Teresa Cahill as Sophie and Michael Langdon as Ochs. I enjoyed it so much that I went back a second time a couple of days later. Soon afterwards I bought the Karajan recording with Schwarzkopf, which remains my favourite recording of the opera. I also love the Paul Czinner film, which has the trio of Schwarzkopf, Jurinac and Rothenberger.
    If anything can seduce me into listening to Rosenkavalier, it's that splendid old Karajan recording. There's just something about the idea of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Christa Ludwig in bed together...
    Last edited by Woodduck; Feb-25-2020 at 17:56.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    If anything can seduce me into listening to Rosenkavalier, it's that splendid old Karajan recording. There's just something about the idea of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Christa Ludwig in bed together...
    Then you would like the Bohm live Salzburg Figaro with Christa as Cherubino and Betty as the Countess (joined by DFD, Kunz and Seefried, IIRC there's even a Wagner in the cast).

    N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    Then you would like the Bohm live Salzburg Figaro with Christa as Cherubino and Betty as the Countess (joined by DFD, Kunz and Seefried, IIRC there's even a Wagner in the cast).

    N.
    Good-looking cast. But is the Italian tenor's aria well-sung? That repays me partially for having to put up with all the unfunny Ochs business.

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