Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Schwarzkopf, Söderström, Dobbs, Tyrén; Varviso. Stockholm, 1966
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Each of the three leads of this performance of Der Rosenkavalier make this recording a worthy addition to any Strauss lover's library. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf was nearing the end of her career and indeed the voice does not seem to work as well as it did ten years earlier, however, her Marschallin was near definitive and we benefit enormously from the the decades of experience she had had with this part. Elisabeth Söderström would go on to become one of the few singers to have sung all three lead roles in Rosenkavalier. Here in the title role, she makes a good argument for why this part should be sung by a soprano (as it was at the premiere.) The color of a mezzo gives the part a lushness that seems out of place whereas Söderström is able to convey a naif new to the world of love. Mattwilda Dobbs is radiant as Sophie. Her voice shimmers and creates the perfect ethereal quality in the presentation of the rose. This is achieved not only thanks to her excellent voice and technique, but also her keen interpretive skills. The result is a Sophie caught in a moment of complete rapture. The rest of the cast is very good despite the fact that they sing their parts in Swedish. The sound is very good.