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Strauss: Four Last Songs, Excerpts From Salome & Capriccio / Stemme, Pappano


Release Date: 05/08/2007 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 78797   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Nina Stemme
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



From a spooky Salome to fine farewell, Pappano and his star’s superb Strauss

To borrow a phrase from Richard Osborne, mighty tents are already pitched on these fields – for the Songs Schwarzkopf/Szell, Della Casa/Böhm, Norman/Masur; for the Salome finale Krauss/Cebotari, Welitsch/Reiner and so on. But the conductor who has already got onto record a newly thought-through Bohème, a Tosca that can hold its own with de Sabata’s, and a modern Tristan with Domingo need fear no competition. All the hounds of hell are let loose by the ROH’s percussion section to launch a wild, but always intricately shaped and detailed, account of young Princess
Read more Salome’s sickly Liebestod. Being already a searching, grown-up Isolde, Stemme, like her 1950s forerunners, now really manages to be a teenage Isolde too, by turns sweet, spooky and growing up.

The discs’s running order is cunning and effective, and both conductor and soprano are in command of the switch to Madeleine’s music-or-words dilemma. In Capriccio’s Moonlight Interlude, as in the Songs, Pappano achieves richness without overweighting; his rubato lingers rather than indulges (like…but let’s not compare). Stemme is a more torn and dramatic Countess than, say, Janowitz, Schwarzkopf or Della Casa; this performance harks back to Clemens Krauss and Viorica Ursuleac, emotion shaping the (fine) text, rather than vice-versa.

As if to create a valedictory survey of Strauss, the soprano voice and the orchestra, the start of “Frühling” aptly seconds the Countess’s mood. Michael Tanner’s note for the new remastering of Flagstad’s creator’s performance (see above) remarks how tempi in this work have got slower over the past 50 years. Pappano and his orchestra (what solo playing!), while never hurrying, keep the forward pace of an attentive Lied accompanist – emotional points are made without milking, matching the cool beauty of the soloist’s timbre. Stemme has vocal height and weight in equal measure and (again) really uses her text. Finally, the record is produced and engineered with sensitivity to the layout of Strauss’s instrumental and vocal textures.

-- Mike Ashman, Gramophone [6/2007]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Salome, Op. 54: Final Scene by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Nina Stemme (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1905; Germany 
2.
Capriccio, Op. 85: Morgenmittag um elf! by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Nina Stemme (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1940-1941; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/2006 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 15 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Four Last Songs, AV 150 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Nina Stemme (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1948; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/2006 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 20 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: German 
4.
Salome, Op. 54: Ah! Du wolltest mich nicht deinen Mund küssen lassen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Nina Stemme (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1905; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/2006 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 15 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Capriccio, Op. 85: Interlude "Moonlight Music" by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Nina Stemme (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1940-1941; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/2006 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Salome: Ah, du wolltest mich nicht deinen Mund Küssen lassen [to end of opera]
Capriccio Op. 85, 13. SZENE: Mondscheinmusik
Capriccio Op. 85, 13. SZENE: Morgen mittag um elf! [to end of opera]
Vier letzte Lieder AV150 (Op. posth): 1. Frühling (Hesse)
Vier letzte Lieder AV150 (Op. posth): 2. September (Hesse)
Vier letzte Lieder AV150 (Op. posth): 3. Beim Schlafengehen (Hesse)
Vier letzte Lieder AV150 (Op. posth): 4. Im Abendrot (Eichendorff)

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