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Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos / Sinopoli, Voigt, Heppner, Dessay, Von Otter

Release Date: 09/18/2001 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 471323   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Deborah VoigtAnne Sofie von OtterAlberto DohmenRomuald Pekny,   ... 
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

What a pity that this is Giuseppe Sinopoli's valedictory; it leaves us to imagine how glorious the rest of his Strauss opera readings may've been. Here, in the composer's most transparent, un-sentimental score, Sinopoli gets playing from the Dresden forces that makes everything Strauss and Hoffmansthal were driving at absolutely clear. The low strings at the start are deep and rich (bravo to the engineers, by the way--they deserve an award), the winds, which love to comment on the characters, are always audible and mostly witty, the stage-pit correspondence is never less than ideal, and the racket required of the limited number of instruments in the last part of the opera never has seemed more
Read more potent.

The opening dialogue between the music master and major domo is taken annoyingly slowly--how perfectly we get to dislike the pretentious major domo (in the snide person of Romuald Pekny)--immediately! The whole prologue is then of a piece: the running back and forth is vivid and the mounting anxiety of the composer, made absolutely real by Anne Sophie von Otter, never has been better; indeed her performance is one for the books. And then on to the opera: Deborah Voigt is absolutely lovely, singing with warmth and commitment, easily the equal of those stars of the so-called "Golden Age"; Natalie Dessay is in a class by herself, the voice bigger and richer than most Zerbinettas--but both her pyrotechnics and interpretation (what a fox!) are magnificent. And in Ben Heppner we at last find a tenor who can handle Strauss' almost impossible line: his voice rings out like a true hero, he's vocally secure enough to pay attention to the words, and he partners Voigt like Nureyev did Fonteyn. The Harlekin of Stephan Ganz is ideally perky, and the rest of the cast is top-notch, with the manic outcries of Naiad, Dryade, and Echo suitably melodramatic. This Ariadne goes to the top of the list--recommended to all lovers of Strauss and great singing, and, possibly, the performance that might convert non-Ariadne lovers to true fans. [11/20/2001]
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Ariadne auf Naxos, Op. 60 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Deborah Voigt (Soprano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Alberto Dohmen (Baritone),
Romuald Pekny (Spoken Vocals), Ben Heppner (Tenor), Matthias Henneberg (Tenor),
Stephan Genz (Baritone), Jurgen Commichau (Bass), Ian Thompson (Tenor),
Christoph Genz (Tenor), Christiane Hossfeld (Soprano), Sami Luttinen (Baritone),
Natalie Dessay (Soprano), Angela Liebold (Mezzo Soprano), Eva Kirchner (Soprano),
Michael Howard (Tenor), Klaus Florian Vogt (Tenor)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911/1916; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  St. Luke's Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 122 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: German 

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