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Posted by on Sep 3, 2010 in Reviews | 1 comment

So into STRAUSS right now- But in English?

So into STRAUSS right now- But in English?

Strauss: Ariadne on Naxos, Christine Brewer et al, Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Armstrong(Chandos)

“Richard Strauss in English? Yes, when the cast is as smart and committed as this, with American soprano Christine Brewer, already an incomparable Ariadne, in the title role and nearly every top British singer you care to name in support: Alice Coote a wonderfully ardent Composer, John Graham-Hall the spiky Dancing Master, Gillian Keith exuding bird-like charm as Zerbinetta, not to mention Roderick Williams (Harlequin), Matthew Rose(Truffaldino), Alan Opie (Music Master) and Pamela Helen Stephen(Dryad). As a bonus, Stephen Fry musters droll solemnity as the non-singing Major-Domo”:

Buy the CD or Download the MP3:
Strauss, Ariadne On Naxos (Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme)
Christine Brewer, CHANDOS OPERA IN ENGLISH 2010

Ariadne auf Naxos

Hofmannsthal’s fine but word-rich libretto is clear and audible in Christopher Cowell’s translation. The recording was made at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh last year. Sir Richard Armstrong conducts a voluptuous but brisk performance, with sinewy playing from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, who also the suite from Lully’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme.

The ideal, if you can, is to get to know the opera first at home, then hear it in the original German in the opera house. It’s the one reason to treasure Chandos’s long-established Opera in English series says Fiona Maddocks of The Observer.

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1 Comment

  1. The Opera in English is a really wonderful way to begin to learn certain operas. My personal experience is Eugene Onegin, I bought the english version first because I’d never listened to a Russian opera. I don’t think you can find a better (as good, sure. better, don’t think so) pair of Onegin and Tatyana as Hampson and Kiri. The reason I love this opera as much as I do is because I listened to it in English first. Some operas, this is the best way to learn them. It also documents a few singers who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to record some of these roles. Janet Baker comes to mind along with Rita Hunter. Avoid the operas with bad plots, they only make the operas seem more dumb. Trovatore and Lucia examples A and B of that.

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