Strauss: Capriccio (World Premiere - Highlights) - Ursuleac, Hoefermayer, Hotter, Hann; Krauss. München, 1942

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I don't know about the rest of you but my path to appreciating Capriccio has been a long one.  The story is certainly not action packed and the conceit is just a little pretentious for my tastes (given that it was written in 1942 it almost seems as if there is a conscious effort to remain willfully ignorant of the goings on of the times, in favor or debates about art.)  However, there is some wonderful Straussian melodies that one cannot help admiring.  This recording, which is comprised of excerpts of the premiere, is a good argument for the work.  The singers truly seem to be having a conversation and achieve an intimacy that is crucial for the success of the work.  Viorica Ursuleac, no stranger to Strauss, embodies all of the characteristics that one expects of a Strauss singer; opulent tone with the poise and restraint of a Mozart singer.  A young Hans Hotter is a definite stand-out as Olivier.  Clemens Krauss, who also wrote the libretto, conducts the cast with great insight and musicality.  The sound is very good for the day.

OD 10466-1

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