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From day one of release this has consistently been the recommended recording of Der Rosenkavalier. When, nearly 30 years since its release, a review of a reissue of Karajan’s recording of Der Rosenkavalier opens with the words ‘It really does triumph over them all – even the outstanding 1969 Solti/Decca…’ (Gramophone, 1988) you know that you are about to listen to something extraordinary. Central to this recording’s enduring success is Elisabeth Schwarzkopf as the Marschallin. Stefan Zweig wrote of the Marschallin that she is the incarnation of ‘the holiest exuberance of life’ and Schwarzkopf captures the vitality, charisma, sensuality and sexuality of the Marschallin to perfection. She is supported by a first-class cast including a young Christa Ludwig as the dashing Octavian.
Karajan conducts the score with a sensitivity many claim he never matched again – bringing out the bubbling hedonism and sexual tensions of Strauss’s wonderfully ‘Mozartian’opera. The Philharmonia rises to the challenge and the result is a recording that is unrivalled in the catalogue to this day.
Strauss (R): Der Rosenkavalier - Act 1: Einleitung
Strauss (R): Der Rosenkavalier - Act 1: Wie Du Warst! Wie Du Bist!
Strauss (R): Der Rosenkavalier - Act 1: Du Bist Mein Bub', Du Bist Mein Schatz
Strauss (R): Der Rosenkavalier - Act 1: Der Feldmarschall Sitzt Im Kroatischen Wald
Strauss (R): Der Rosenkavalier - Act 1: Quinquin, Es Ist Ein Besuch