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I'm familiar with much of Strauss's symphonic poems as well as Adriane auf Naxos and some of the music of Der Rosenkavalier but have never herd Salome or Elektra. It seems as though with Der Rosenkavalier and the operas after that, Strauss tried to incorporate a more traditional musical language until he blended Mozartian Classical with Wagnerian harmonies. I wonder if anyone has views on their favorite Strauss opera and can help me better elaberate on Strauss's stages as an artist?
 

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My personal favourite of the Strauss-Hoffmanstahl collaboration is Elektra. The story is, of course, the starkest one you could imagine, after Sophocles. And the opera needs an exceptional singer in the title role. But I realized the beauty of the orchestal score only after having listened to it with headphones! Lately I have enjoyed opera only as DVD:s and the one to have is with Leonie Rysanek as Elektra. She never sang the role on stage but Karl Böhm asked her to do it for the video and what a performance it is! I do have Elektra with Birgit Nilsson (also a DVD) from the Met with Rysanek as her sister, Chrysothemis, for nostalgic reasons, but here Nilsson is definitely past her prime, although still impressive.

Ariadne auf Naxos comes second in my list. I like the concept of an opera within an opera, and there is so much wonderful music.

Der Rosenkavalier must come third. The presentation of the rose and the ending are simply fabulous, given good singers. But there is too much general hullabaloo for my taste.

Die Frau ohne Schatten is quite boring for quite a time, but the ending with singers like Nilsson, Rysanek, King and Berry (the Met, Böhm) is worth waiting, this one on CD only.

Die Ägyptische Helena has it's moments.

Salome, if we drop Hoffmanstahl, is very good indeed, the libretto based on Oscar Wilde's play. There has not been been any shortage of good recordings of this one. Nilsson, Caballe, Behrens, Studer skip to mind.

Die Schweigsame Frau would be interesting. I have heard two recordings of it on CD, but I'm still waiting for something better - perhaps with Natalie Dessay?

Daphne. I recently saw a performance (back to DVD:s) from La Fenice starring June Andersson and was quite impressed, never having heard her singing in German. Recommended.

Intermezzo. Strauss wrote the libretto for this himself and as I undestand it's supposed to reflect his personal home life. I have only heard one recording of it, with the late Lucia Popp as the wife. Not bad, but not from the top drawer.

Capriccio. For some reason I have never enjoyed this one, even with Schwartzkopf or te Kanawa.

Oh, I completely forgot Arabella! I have never liked it much, either, although it also has it's moments (Der Richtige...).

I would very much like to hear and see Die Liebe der Danae, but I have never crossed paths with it.

There are a couple more, but nothing important.
 

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I've been a huge fan of the Richard Strauss operas for many years, and think the lesser-known ones are very underrated. I've gotten to know these on CD in recent years.
I wouldn't dismiss any of the 15 out of hand now that I've heard them all.
For Salome, you can't go wrong with the Solti or Karajan sets, and the Sinopoli and Ozawa ones have their virtues too. Try the classic Decca set from the early 50s conducted by Clemens Krauss, one of the composer's closest associates.
The Solti Elektra has never been surpassed, but the Sawallisch and Boehm(DG) recordings
are also very good.
For Der Rosenkavalier, both Karajan versions,Solti, Ercih Kleiber(father of Carlos) ,are the ones.
Ariadne auf Naxos : Sinopoli, Karajan,Kempe, Levine, Boehm(live from Salzburg in the 50s).
Die Frau ohne Schatten :Solti,Sawallsich, Boehm(DG) or Decca if you can find this one.
Arabella: Solti.Die Aegyptische Helena:Botstein or Dorati. Capriccio: Sawallisch,Boehm or Ulf Schirmer. Also try the Decca Daphne with Renee Fleming and Semyon Bychkov conducting.
The second Strauss opera Feuersnot(Fire Famine) with Heinz Fricke conducting is a real charmer. I forget the name of the label, but it's not a famous one.
 

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I love Rosenkavalier... I currently sing "Di rigori..." and it fascinates me, because it the whole part of the Italian Singer is so brief, but so hard. It sounds very easy and easy-going, but it is very demandful.
 

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There was a time when Richard Strauss was one of my least favorite composers. I was not heavily into opera yet, and his tone poems mostly frustrated me.

I believe it was seeing Ariadne auf Naxos that converted me; the ridiculous and the sublime, mixed in such a way that both work. Not long after that I realized that Der Rosenkavalier had a similar life to it, that it was a subtler mix of the ridiculous and the sublime.

At this point Elektra may be my favorite, but I still have a lot to explore. I'm barely familiar with Die Frau ohne Schatten and Arabella, and I could use more time with Salome, too.

I don't know any of the others at all!
 

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Strauss is my favorite opera composer next to Verdi and Bellini; I can't even put into words how much his music thrills me. And hearing a Strauss opera live is a must, because in my experience even a modern recording can't quite convey the full impact of his orchestral music.

If there is a "best" opera by Strauss to begin with, I'm going to say it's ELEKTRA.
 

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I am quite unfamiliar with Strauss. As far as conventional opera is concerned I am only well acquainted with Wagner and Verdi.
 

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I like Elektra, Salome and Daphne.
Elektra is my favourite opera by Richard Strauss it is really great superdramatic and really good music. It has everything an opera should have. Strange that there are so many great operas about Agamemnon and his family.
Salome not as good as Elektra but it is good anyway.
Daphne have some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard.
I find the other ones really difficult to listen to.
 

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Still remember the first time I heard "Allein! Weh, ganz allein" (Birgit Nilsson.) A very nice lady played it for me in a listening booth in a music shop. An absolute Stunner. The music wasn't bad either ;) Elektra has been my favorite ever since, Salome not far behind.
 

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Strauss is my favorite opera composer next to Verdi and Bellini; I can't even put into words how much his music thrills me. And hearing a Strauss opera live is a must, because in my experience even a modern recording can't quite convey the full impact of his orchestral music.

If there is a "best" opera by Strauss to begin with, I'm going to say it's ELEKTRA.
Strauss is my second favourite opera composer after Wagner and it is too hard to pick a favourite opera from his canon. I wouldn't be without any of them although I might, if forced to, go for Die Frau Ohne Schatten. Closely followed by Rosenkavalier, Ariadne and Capriccio, then Salome and Elektra.
 

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I'm familiar with much of Strauss's symphonic poems as well as Adriane auf Naxos and some of the music of Der Rosenkavalier but have never herd Salome or Elektra.
Then you've never heard his two best operas - I suggest you rectify the situation at your earliest opportunity! Musically and dramatically, Elektra and Salome are magnificent from the first bar to the last.
 

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Strauss is my second favourite opera composer after Wagner and it is too hard to pick a favourite opera from his canon. I wouldn't be without any of them although I might, if forced to, go for Die Frau Ohne Schatten. Closely followed by Rosenkavalier, Ariadne and Capriccio, then Salome and Elektra.
Strauss is also my second favourite composer. I would say Elektra is his greatest opera. Hearing Thielemann conduct it in Dresden was certainly an experience. Yet I would say Der Rosenkavalier is my favourite, yet I prefer the version that is cut. Favourite recording of Elektra is Boehm and Rosenkavalier is Karajan's first recording.
 
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