This week's Opera Daily features Soprano Renée Fleming and Baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing "Morgen" by Richard Strauss
When I was new to opera it was Done Giovanni that captured me - the mix of comedy and pathos was compelling, a form rarely seen in other works. Later it was La Boheme - Puccini's utter mastery of the way people interact & his gift for putting that in the music is why IMO his work remains in the Standard Repertory. Later I came to appreciate Strauss and especially Der Rosenkavalier. The Final Trio and conclusion of Act 3 may be the best music ever composed for the opera stage. How Strauss gets into the music the feelings of all three women, himself being a man, is one of the mysteries of art. And what music!! Then he spends his last days writing lieder that are to the 20th century what Schubert and Schumann are to the 19th century (perhaps only Britten or Rorem approach him). I've three recordings of the Four Last Songs with additional selections from his songs for voice and orchestra (Felicity Lott, Heather Harper, and Elizabeth Schwartzkopf). I treasure them.
I dare say most singers were terrified of ELEKTRA and SALOME...
Wow, I didn't know the affinity singers have / had for R Strauss!! All I know is his utterly beautiful melodies which I thought were hard to sing-- contrary to what you write here. His "Four Last Songs" are among my fav Lieder, esp. by E Schwarzkopf.
But what about his very modern "Elektra" for singers? --I can even barely listen to it!!
Such beautiful singing, beautiful music, different delivery from both singers but both did the job of reminding me how much of a difference music and singing can make to my day. I so needed this today and it did its magic wonderfully. Thank you Michele