Saturday, September 11, 2010

Strauss R - Guntram - Queler, Hungarian State Orchestra



Richard Strauss' first foray into opera was a flop, but a century later this little apprentice work still holds up. Wagnerian, yes, but then what wasn't after Parsifal? Strauss was always fond of his poor little Guntram and even worked the main leitmotif into his tone poem, Heldenleben (and John Williams even worked it into the final scene of Close Encounters, whether he was aware of it or not).
This recording is really gorgeous and I am very glad it has resurfaced. Beautiful, lush sonics, tremendous stereo arc, the singers are all lovely, if a bit relaxed. Queler's conducting is a bit relaxed, too, but it never fails to involve emotionally. This is a sweet Medieval romance that is short enough to make your evening glow after a hard day's work. Rosenkavalier, Salome, Die Frau ohne Schatten, are all evident in this gorgeous music. Not great, but very very good and a must own for Strauss fans.



Ape, scans

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