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  • Strauss: Rosenkavalier
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Strauss: Rosenkavalier


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Product Details

  • Actors: Schwanewilms, Mori, Luisi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (DTS 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EUROARTS
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 212 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001HBX8PU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,435 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Medici Arts continues its series of high-class recordings from the world-famous Semperoper in Dresden. Richard Strauss (1864 1949) has, of course, always been a very special favourite at the Dresden Opera because many of his works were premiered there, most famously his Rosenkavalier in 1911. As if the world knew that this was to be the last important opera premiere before civilization broke down in the First World War, the premiere was turned into an event of enormous proportions, with special trains bringing the audience to Dresden to witness the latest cooperation between Strauss and his preferred librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929). Der Rosenkavalier, despite its nostalgic setting in eighteenth century Vienna, deals with a variety of issues current in the early 20th century. Two of the most obvious were the status of women and the pending collapse of the ruling hierarchy. The authors described the work as a Comedy for Music and the criticism - as in all great social comedies - lies just beneath the surface. With the readings by Ruth Berghaus in Frankfurt and Herbert Wernicke in Salzburg in the 1990s, the piece has definitely lost any sweet rococo icing with which post war stagings might have covered it. Director Uwe Eric Laufenberg, who premiered the present version in 2000, puts himself in that great tradition: with the action taking place after the Second World War, he works out some of the more timeless issues of the work: bittersweet pathos, satirical social criticism and sexual farce as well as multilayered, comic wit and psychological characterization. The top-notch cast is led by Anne Schwanewilms as the Marschallin, Kurt Rydl as Ochs and Anke Vondung as Octavian - all three play roles that have become cornerstones of their repertoire. The orchestra of the Semperoper in Dresden plays the work, which has been a centrepiece of their repertoire ever since its premiere, from the original scores and under the experienced baton of their musical director Fabio Luisi. The recording now available on DVD and Blu-Ray Disc - took place during a tour of the Semperoper company to Japan in November 2007 where they staged this Rosenkavalier to enormous success.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DDD VINE VOICE on December 13, 2008
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When I first received this set, I put it on ASAP. My initial reaction was less than positive and before I wrote about my feelings I felt that it deserved a second hearing which it received this afternoon.

There were some negative reactions that were not cleared up. First off, the technical aspect. I should admit that I do not have high definition, blue ray, etc. However, at least 98% of my DVD's sound find, e.g., the sound level is satisfactory and the aural pleasure is usually satisfactory. With this performance, however, it is necessary to boost my sound level way beyond where I usually have it. I don't know whether or not this is a good or a bad thing. I don't think it would have detered me from purchasing the set. The only singer whose presence is less than pleasing is Kurt Rydl' Ochs. Rydl's voice is the right weight and his knowledge of the role beyond question. He is, alas, afflicted with a wobble whenever it is necessary to bring up the volumn. Obviously parlando passages are not affected as much and when he is not aiming for volumn the wobble disappears! The only recording I have with him is also Rosenkavlier from Dresden. Recorded around 1989 there is no problem. He is also Hagen in the Audi Gotterdammerung (dating from 1991,I think). There is evidence of it but the role while pivotal is not large and the rest of the singing in the cast is not of a high caliber so that he doesn't stand out.

As regards the staging, even though we are supposedly circa 1950, Vienna, the director would disappoint the Regie oriented. For the women the skirts are long--the Dior "new look"? Even so they are very chic and flattering. Ocktavian in uniform to present the rose could easily have been cast in a conventional production.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 1, 2008
In November 2007 the Dresden State Opera spent several weeks in Japan and among the operas they presented was this production of Strauss's 'Der Rosenkavalier'. Certainly the company has a long association with the work, having given its première in 1911. Presented at NHK Hall in Tokyo, this performance does not stint on scenery or costumes; it is a full production complete with huge chorus and cast as well as the marvelous Semper Opera orchestra -- aka the Dresden Staatskapelle -- under its new music director Fabio Luisi. Most of the cast is not well known in the US, although the Marschallin -- lyric soprano Anne Schwanewilms -- is growing in renown; her first act Monolog is marvelous as is the final act Trio. She brings dignity and nobility to the part. She is perhaps the best Marschallin I've seen since Elisabeth Söderström. The Ochs, Kurt Rydl, has had a long and illustrious career, but he is a bit too crude in his acting and the voice no longer has its former luster. The Italian Singer is Roberto Saccà (I tend to think of him, rather, as Robert Secco); his aria in Act I is not one of the production's highlights. The pants-role of Octavian is portrayed by a mezzo I'd never heard of, Anke Vondung, and she is one of the real stars of this performance. She not only looks the part and has a luscious voice that she uses with musicality, she is also a marvelous actor; there were indeed times when I forgot she was a woman. Sophie is sung by a young and attractive soprano, Maki Mori. She acts well and has a lovely, well-controlled high soprano; she is outstanding both in the Presentation of the Rose Scene and in the final Trio and Duet. The many minor solo parts are nicely done. Special mention needs to be made of Elisabeth Wilke as the Italian schemer, Annina.Read more ›
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul L. McKaskle on December 15, 2010
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This is a somewhat revised version of a review I posted at Amazon.uk. Musically this is a five star performance. My problem is the wholesale transfer of the production into the 20th century. It was simply unsuccessful (necessarily so) in my opinion. I give it only one star for that and hence my "average" is three stars.

It is hard to pinpoint the precise period that the production is trying to evoke. Another reviewer, Mr. Morrison (who is also cross-posted at amazon.uk) suggests 1911 (the date of the first performance) but admits that the use of modern cameras in a couple of scenes suggests a later date. For what it is worth, it clearly is set at a later date. My best guess is it is set no earlier than the 1950s. In addition to the 35mm cameras (invented in the mid-1930s, but surely the opera wasn't intended to be in the time of Hitler), the servant girls in the first act (including "Mirandel") are wearing black dresses with white aprons and hemlines at or above the knee-reminiscent of waitresses in tea shops in 1950s. Certainly Baron Ochs' servants dressed in lederhosen (looking like escapees from a yodeling school) would not have been imaginable in 1911.

The opera makes absolutely no sense set in the mid-20th century. After 1918 there was no Empress of Austria. Girls weren't banished to convents for disobeying their fathers (Faninal's threat to Sophie). Arranged marriages where neither the bride nor groom had ever seen each other no longer occurred (at least not in upper-class western society). The rigid hierarchy and perks of nobility had been severely degraded after World War I. Secret lovers of women of rank didn't show up for assignations in the 1950s carrying their swords.
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