Search - Richard Strauss, Leon Botstein, American Symphony Orchestra :: Strauss - Die Liebe der Danae / Flanigan, Coleman Wright, Sotin, W. Lewis, Saffer, ASO, Botstein

Strauss - Die Liebe der Danae / Flanigan, Coleman Wright, Sotin, W. Lewis, Saffer, ASO, Botstein
Richard Strauss, Leon Botstein, American Symphony Orchestra
Strauss - Die Liebe der Danae / Flanigan, Coleman Wright, Sotin, W. Lewis, Saffer, ASO, Botstein
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #3

Die Liebe der Danae had its origins with a scenario (imagined as a "lighter" effort) suggested by Strauss's great collaborator Hugo von Hofmannsthal. But it wasn't until after the librettist's death that Strauss--under the...  more »

     
?

Larger Image
Listen to Samples

CD Details


Synopsis

Amazon.com
Die Liebe der Danae had its origins with a scenario (imagined as a "lighter" effort) suggested by Strauss's great collaborator Hugo von Hofmannsthal. But it wasn't until after the librettist's death that Strauss--under the more mediocre partnership of Joseph Gregor--returned to the project. His second-to-last opera, Danae never managed to establish itself and has slipped through the cracks, becoming one of the composer's least-produced works. More's the pity, as Strauss enthusiast Leon Botstein eloquently proves in this largely admirable live recording (captured from concert performances in January 2000 given in Avery Fisher Hall). The story involves one of those delicious conflations typical of Hofmannstahl--here the (otherwise) unrelated classical legends of King Midas and Jupiter seducing Danae in the form of golden rain--that allow for several layers of irony as well as sudden reversals leading to unexpected wisdom. Though the score is late Strauss, full of the ripeness you'd expect from this period, there's a sense of recapturing youthful exuberance in some of its inventive profusion. Note, for example, the obvious pleasure Strauss takes in conjuring a world of golden imagery through sound--a vein that also, incidentally, allows him scope for some affectionate parody of Wagner's Ring. Some of the music, to be sure, represents rote-Strauss (a particularly weak spot includes most of the choral writing). But there are passages of, well, Straussian gold as well, above all in the love music between Danae and Midas. Lauren Flanigan captivates in the exceedingly difficult title role, and there's good chemistry with Hugh Smith as the king with the cursed touch. Fans of one of the last century's greatest opera composers will find this a discovery that's pleasurably rewarding. --Thomas May

Similarly Requested CDs

 

CD Reviews

Achingly, Ravishingly Beautiful
08/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Telarc's recording of Strauss's penultimate opera DIE LIEBE DER DANAE is a magnificent milestone. DIE LIEBE belongs to the sound world of Strauss's great, late works, like the FOUR LAST SONGS, the OBOE CONCERTO, and the METAMORPHOSEN. The tonal palate is golden, autumnal, suffused with melancholy. Although the libretto seems somewhat frivolous at first, so do the libretti of ARIADNE AUF NAXOS and ARABELLA, yet Strauss's glorious music imbues them with pathos and profundity. DIE LIEBE contains some of Strauss's most beautiful and demanding writing for soprano and bartitone. I have nothing but praise for this performance, and the Telarc recording is magnificent. At the end of the first act, I was astonished to hear applause. I had no idea that this is a live performance! It is mercifully free of thundering hooves crossing the stage. One wonders why this wonderful opera has been so long neglected while inferior works like FRIEDENSTAG have received modern recordings before it. This is an obligatory disc--the record of the year--for all Straussians."
Worth Hearing!
Eulenspiegel | WA | 10/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Die Liebe der Danae" is a wonderful opera -- perhaps not as wonderful as some Strauss operas, but the better you get to know it, the more you will appreciate its many beauties. It is an opera that improves as it goes along. The first act has some lovely parts -- especially the "rain of gold" music that leads into the second scene and the duet between Danae and her servant, Xanthe. The second act has a charming, light-hearted scene where Jupiter's previous four lovers banter with him, and the act ends well with Danae's choice of Midas followed by Jupiter's response. Unfortunately, in the first two acts the duets between Midas and Danae are weak, which leaves a poorer impression precisely because you would expect Strauss to have given something especially inspiring at these points. However, the third act is worth the wait. It is psychologically richer, and the music corresponds. Mercury's tongue-in-cheek sections are fun (and show that the librettist was capable of more creative lines than he usually gave Strauss). Both Midas' and Danae's arias are finely crafted. The music leading into the final scene ("Jupiter's Renunciation") is among the loveliest short pieces Strauss ever wrote -- one long, sustained melody (one never hears it in concert, unfortunately). Best of all, Jupiter's music in this act is very rich -- especially the "Maja Erzaehlung" towards the end.

I know this recording as well as the original one from Orfeo, and I appreciate both. However, there are particular things in this recording to recommend it. As one would expect, the quality of the sound is vastly better, and the inclusion of a libretto is a definite plus. Over all, the title role is better sung on this recording and is noticeably better in the 3rd act aria (where the earlier singer hit some embarrassingly flat notes in a very exposed place). The conductor here (Botstein) does a better job sticking to tempo than Clements did, which especially helps the 2nd act duet hold together, and which also helps with Danae's 3rd act aria. While Paul Schoeffler's singing of Jupiter in the Orfeo edition is something to treasure, Peter Coleman-Wright does a great job in his own right (and in some cases sings the role more accurately than Schoeffler did).

All in all, this is a great recording, and if you are going to just purchase one, this is the one I would recommend.
"
THE OLD BRAVERY
dejopera | Belgrade, Yugoslavia | 01/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I do praise, certainly, the appearance of NEW "Danae". Recording is superb, as well as the singing (Flanigan). I expected a touch of more fiery interpretation by Botstein. By the way, I want to underline the following fact - this "Danae" IS NOT the first CD release ever. The first "Danae" on CDs is the production from 1950 and one can find it on Orfeo D'Or label as a live recording from Salzburg festival, featuring excellent singers (Schoeffler, Traxel, Gostic) and unsurpased FIERY conductor's interpretation by Clemens Krauss. I rate this second "Danae" (new recording) with 4 stars and for the first "Danae" (old recording) - admiring OLD BRAVERY to put on repertoire such, in that times after World War II, strange opera and to produce it with highest artistic standards - I rate it with 5 stars!"