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Thread: Die Frau ohne Schatten - Recommendations

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    Default Die Frau ohne Schatten - Recommendations

    I have equivocal feelings about Strauss. When I was younger, I loved him, but now I tend to listen only occasionally, though I retain an affection for Der Rosenkavalier.

    However, today I have been listening to a live relay from Covent Garden in 1976 of Die Frau ohne Schatten. It's a very good performance, with stellar performances from Heather Harper as the Empress and Walter Berry and Helga Dernesch as the Dyers. I'm enjoying it immensely. That said, the sound is quite muddy, and I'm not much of a fan of Solti's conducting.

    So, with that in mind, what are people's recommendations for a good modern recording in stereo sound. Do I go with Sawallisch, Böhm or Sinopoli? Solti is out for me, regardless of his excellent cast.
    Last edited by GregMitchell; Oct-05-2018 at 10:31.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    I have the Sawallisch which seems to me a pretty safe bet although I must confess I haven't listened to it in a while.

    There is a live performance with Karajan conducting which is in mono, cut and expensive. But according to reviews a blinding performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    There is a live performance with Karajan conducting which is in mono, cut and expensive. But according to reviews a blinding performance.
    Yes, I saw that one, but the sound is apparently not good.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Well done Greg! There wasn't any thread like this in TC after searching on Google!

    There is an important thread about the opera called Spectacular Richard Strauss masterpiece. You may want to read it as I did one month ago.

    This is the list of performances I have for a FROSCH challenge:

    Kempe BaySO 54 (M)
    Karajan WStO 64 Jan (M)
    Karajan WStO 64 Rys (M)
    Böhm WStO 66 (M)
    Böhm WPO 56 Decca
    Böhm WPO 74
    Böhm WPO 75?
    Böhm WStO 77 DG
    Keilberth BaySO
    Solti WPO
    Sawallisch SOdBR
    Sinopoli SKD

    Am I leaving any behind worth considering?

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    I have the EMI Sawallisch and like it a lot.
    It has great modern sound and an excellent cast.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    I heard Deborah Voigt sing the Empress at Covent Garden in 2001 alongside Johan Botha, Alan Titus, Gabriele Schnaut, and this was in Voigt's (and Botha's) pre-little-black-dress era, and I must say I enjoyed it immensely. Tee hee.

    Kind regards,

    George

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    So, with that in mind, what are people's recommendations for a good modern recording in stereo sound. Do I go with Sawallisch, Böhm or Sinopoli? Solti is out for me, regardless of his excellent cast.
    There are only two recording that are uncut - Solti and Sawallisch. I have a slight preference for Solti's cast, but Sawallisch has the measure of the score in ways that Solti doesn't. So given your antipathy toward Solti, I think that you should start with Sawallisch.

    The other stereo sets all have their merits; of those, I probably favor Bohm's first recording, in excellent early stereo, with Rysanek as the Empress and Hopf as the Emperor, one of his best recordings. I haven't heard the Sinopoli in many years, but I recall that the cast looked a lot better on paper than it sounded through my speakers.

    You can hear some of the complete recordings via YouTube, including both Sinopoli and Bohm 2.

    Regardless of what you choose, be sure to hear Torsten Ralf's recording of the Falcon Scene:


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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    However, today I have been listening to a live relay from Covent Garden in 1976 of Die Frau ohne Schatten.
    I was there (possibly not on that night though!)

    It was VERY loud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post

    It was VERY loud.
    Well it is Strauss - and Solti
    Last edited by GregMitchell; Oct-05-2018 at 14:29.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    The Solti recording is uncut, has the VPO and a great cast (though Domingo has his challenges with German) in great sound. I personally think Solti and Strauss are great combination, but you hate Sotli. So my suggestion is to buy this set and pretend it is conducted by someone else.

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    There's the Valery Gergiev performance.
    I enjoy Strauss because his orchestrations
    still sound brilliant, sharp and modern to me.
    In fact, I think he was one of the most gifted of all time.

    See the site for the particulars of this performance.
    I found the production enjoyable, humorous, and modern.
    though one does hear the movement of the feet onstage.
    But I like the spontaneity of live performances despite
    the human imperfections. Fine 3-act opera!

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Oct-05-2018 at 20:19.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rangstrom View Post
    The Solti recording is uncut, has the VPO and a great cast (though Domingo has his challenges with German) in great sound. I personally think Solti and Strauss are great combination, but you hate Sotli. So my suggestion is to buy this set and pretend it is conducted by someone else.
    Hate is a strong word. I'd just say I don't normally get on with his style of conducting, finding it too hard driven for my taste.
    Last edited by GregMitchell; Oct-05-2018 at 16:50.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    There are only two recording that are uncut - Solti and Sawallisch.
    The 2014 Weigle recording on Oehms Classics is also uncut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Kenneth View Post
    The 2014 Weigle recording on Oehms Classics is also uncut.
    I wasn't aware of that recording - thanks. Is it worth hearing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rangstrom View Post
    The Solti recording is uncut, has the VPO and a great cast (though Domingo has his challenges with German) in great sound. I personally think Solti and Strauss are great combination, but you hate Sotli. So my suggestion is to buy this set and pretend it is conducted by someone else.
    This is my suggestion too. The Solti has the better cast and is in better sound. I used to have both, but then got rid of the Sawallisch. I'm a huge Studer fan, but she is better heard in the Solti DVD with Moser and Marton. Kollo and Schwarz aren't up to their important roles and Domingo and Runkel (who was marvelous in the part of the Nurse at La Scala) beat them hands down. The main reason I would go for the Solti is because it hangs together better than the rather limp Sawallisch. I have reservations about Solti in Wagner and would have no hesitation choosing Sawallisch in Wagner over him, however his Frau really works.

    If they are both on YouTube then perhaps listen and compare for yourself? That's what I have started doing.

    N.

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