Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Schech, Töpper, Köth, Edelmann, Fehenberger; Knappertsbusch. München, 1957
Listen to a Sample:
For those of you who only associate Hans Knappertsbusch with Wagner this recording of Der Rosenkavalier should be a refreshing change of pace. Knappertsbusch navigates the intricate score with ease, creating a lightness to the whole affair and although he brings his signature breadth of tempo, (particularly in the final trio which may be the most beautifully paced I have ever heard), he also finds moments to kick the orchestra into overdrive. The performance bubbles with both youthful vigor as well as understated sentimentality. Hertha Töpper’s handsome mezzo makes for an ideal Octavian. Marianne Schech’s silky soprano captivates, particularly when called upon to access her glorious top. Erika Köth’s Sophie is a little on the chirpy side for my taste, but she still manages to charm without coming across as saccharine. Otto Edelmann’s Ochs lacks the low notes but makes up for it in buffo elegance. The sound is excellent.