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Strauss: Arabella / Solti, Della Casa, London


Release Date: 08/11/2009 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001305202   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Otto EdelmannJudith HellwigHarald PröglhöfEberhard Wächter,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera ChorusVienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 25 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

24-bit re-mastered budget release. Libretto not included.

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Given the fact that this performance has been so wonderfully re-mastered and re-released at budget price...it’s a real bargain.


"This recording is a marvel! It was made back in 1957, right before Solti’s Wagner Ring cycle project. Being in the Decca catalog for many years, it has long since become a legendary recording. Although the sound is dated, it still stands as one of the very best. John Culshaw was Decca’s visionary young producer who not only worked on Solti’s Wagner studio recordings, but also on many others among which was this wonderful Arabella. Read more />

Arabella was the last collaboration between the composer and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, librettist of Strauss’s most successful operas. Strauss had left the path of modernism he followed earlier with Elektra or Salome in order to find a more lyrical, realistic (and less successful) style.


The cast is the real highlight here; Lisa Della Casa was a phenomenal Mozart and Strauss interpreter, ranking among the finest singers of her time. She performed and recorded the role of Arabella frequently, each time with great success. Here, she’s in the prime of her career; fresh and perceptive—without any unnecessary exaggerations. Otto Edelman is simply terrific as Graf Waldner, as is George London as Mandryka, the mistrustful, rich stranger. Both Hilde Gueden as Zdenka (Arabella’s sister) and Ira Malaniuk as Adelaide (their mother) sound very fresh, singing with astounding virtuosity.


Conductor and orchestra are in great shape, too. Georg Solti obviously feels comfortable with Strauss’s orchestration, and he leads the Vienna Philharmonic with fire and insight. His ever-forward pushing approach to the music works particularly well—bringing great passion and excitement. As always with Strauss, the score is tricky for both singers and orchestra; but isn’t that what we have the Vienna Philharmonic for? It produces a gorgeous sound with full basses and warm strings. However, this was recorded from the early days of stereo. At times, the woodwinds sound somewhat squeezed and the brass a bit harsh. Fortunately, the engineers provided us with a first-rate, 24-bit re-mastering.


There are not so many recordings of Arabella available on the market, but a performance that I still cherish personally is Joseph Keilberth’s live, stereo recording on DG. It was recently re-released at budget price, and you get Della Casa and Fischer-Dieskau in a similarly terrific performance. I find it has a bit more spontaneity and wit.


Given the fact that this performance has been so wonderfully re-mastered and re-released at budget price...it’s a real bargain."


FANFARE: Bart Verhaeghe
Reviewing earlier reissue, DECCA 000710502 Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Arabella, Op. 79 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Otto Edelmann (Baritone), Judith Hellwig (Soprano), Harald Pröglhöf (Bass),
Eberhard Wächter (Baritone), Waldemar Kmentt (Tenor), Mimi Coertse (Soprano),
Otto Edelmann (Bass), Ira Malaniuk (Mezzo Soprano), Hilde Gueden (Soprano),
Anton Dermota (Tenor), George London (Bass Baritone), Lisa Della Casa (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1929-1932; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1957 
Venue:  Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 144 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: German 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Cherished Recording Since 1957 July 29, 2012 By D. Stewart (Flagstaff, AZ) See All My Reviews "After training, my first overseas assignment in the U. S. Army was at a Post in Bavaria - an easy drive to Vienna for breaks and leave when I wasn't lapping up performances at the Bavarian State Opera's nightly productions.It was at the Re Opening of The Vienna State Opera though that I first attended a performance of Arabella with basically the very same cast, and the next year it was released on LP. To hear it in the flesh and then be able to savour it again by recording was almost a life long treat ( I am 79 ). Here it is again, remastered and in really gorgeous sound from everyone for its' age, and free of clicks, pops, swishes, or hiss (remember those ??). I have several other recordings ( Fleming, Janowitz, Te Kanawa ), but as fine in the title role as those ladies are, this one with Lisa Della Casa has never been bettered. If you cannot find this one, there is another from Munich with Joseph Keilberth at about the same time, that is as close to this one in perfection as you can get." Report Abuse
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