Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Janowitz, Fassbaender, Cotrubas, Ridderbusch, Luchetti, Helmsley; Prêtre. Rai Napoli, 1971
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This recording of Der Rosenkavalier assembles an excellent trio of women in the leading roles. Brigitte Fassbaender nearly owned the title role in the 70s and 80s. Her Octavian is both sensual and masculine, naif and insecure. It is a surprise that Janowitz did not sing the Marschallin more often. The delicacy of her tone and sensibility are very well suited to this part. It is also nice to hear a Marschallin that sounds like she is still a young woman (after all despite her angst about aging, the character is probably only in her 30s.) Ileana Cotrubas is a winsome Sophie and brings both youthful charm and an inner sensuality that we hear when she lets her top fully bloom particularly during the presentation of the rose. Karl Ridderbusch is a lumbering yet ultimately sympathetic Ochs and unlike many of his colleagues who only play the buffoonish side of his character, Ridderbusch shows that despite his crassness there are still atavistic hints of an aristocrat. Veriano Luchetti is a superb Italian singer and Thomas Helmsley is excellent as Fanninal. The sound is very good although there are a few small breaks in Act II.