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Lisa Della Casa - Recital - Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Etc


Release Date: 03/31/2009 
Label:  Orfeo D'or Catalog #: 685091   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartRichard WagnerGottfried von EinemRichard Strauss
Performer:  Lisa Della Casa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



LISA DELLA CASA Lisa Della Casa (sop); Vienna St Op O; Various conductors, singers ORFEO 685 091 (77:57 Text and Translation)


Arias from: MOZART Don Giovanni. Idomeneo. WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. VON EINEM Dantons Tod. R. STRAUSS Read more class="ARIAL12bi"> Capriccio. Arabella


During my adolescence, Lisa Della Casa was one of my heroines, from the time she sang Mozart and Strauss operas at the Met in the 1950s and 1960s. This Orfeo CD offers selections from performances at the Vienna Opera from 1955 to 1971, some of the assumptions unfamiliar, such as Donna Anna or Ilia. The earliest is a 1955 Don Giovanni already available in its entirety on CD. Despite the handicap of its being sung in German, Della Casa shows that she is just as sovereign an interpreter of that role as her customary Elvira. Karl Böhm is at his best at the helm, but Giovanni was one of the operas in which he excelled. Anton Dermota is a worthy partner in duet, as is Werner Krenn in an excerpt from Idomeneo (1971), though for some reason the soprano does not sound entirely comfortable. Wagner’s Eva was familiar to Met denizens, but she is here faced with the implacably slow conducting of Heinz Wallberg. An extract from Gottfried von Einem’s Dantons Tod allows us to appreciate the singer’s commitment to contemporary music. The title role of Arabella was of course one of Della Casa’s major achievements, earning her the nickname “Arabellissima.” Her partnership with Anneliese Rothenberger remains unsurpassed in their duet. Hugh Beresford (who, if memory serves, later became a tenor, though there is little trace of him on the Internet) makes a mercifully minimal contribution to the final duet. The Countess in Capriccio was another major assumption, finally available in its entirety (March 2009), with Georges Prêtre in charge of this most Austro-Germanic of operas. Perhaps the setting in a French country chateau inspired the director of the Vienna Opera to hire a French conductor.


Throughout the CD, one marvels at the vocal beauty that is put at the service of the characterization, while those of us fortunate to have seen her on stage can remember the physical beauty as well. A documentary was recently shown on German television (subsequently available in eight sections on YouTube) to celebrate the singer’s 90th birthday, and even with limited German I found it a delight from start to finish. Della Casa is still a beauty, smoking up a storm alongside her husband. In a BBC interview from the 1960s, she responds to a question by saying that one of Vienna’s leading throat specialists told her that singing was more dangerous for the vocal cords than smoking. All we need now is a second album devoted to other operas in which she was supreme: La nozze di Figaro, Ariadne auf Naxos, Rosenkavalier , as well as Bohème, Tosca , or Butterfly (which she rarely sang elsewhere).


FANFARE: Joel Kasow
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Don Giovanni, K 527: In quali eccessi...Mi tradì quell' alma ingrata by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lisa Della Casa (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
2.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Hat man mit dem Schuhwerk by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lisa Della Casa (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862-1867; Germany 
3.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: O Sachs! mein Freund! by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lisa Della Casa (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Germany 
4.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Selig wie die Sonne (Quintet) by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lisa Della Casa (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862-1867; Germany 
5.
Dantons Tod, Op. 6: Das ist eine böse Zeit by Gottfried von Einem
Performer:  Lisa Della Casa (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1946; Austria 
6.
Arabella, Op. 79: Ich danke, Fräulein by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Lisa Della Casa (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1929-1932; Germany 
7.
Arabella, Op. 79: Aber der Richtige by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Lisa Della Casa (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1929-1932; Germany 
8.
Arabella, Op. 79: Das war sehr gut, Mandryka by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Lisa Della Casa (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1929-1932; Germany 
9.
Capriccio, Op. 85: Morgenmittag um elf! by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Lisa Della Casa (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1940-1941; Germany 

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