I do love the Kiri TeKanawa and Anne Sophie Von Otter productions as well, but this is my favourite of my favourite Richard Strauss opera. The costumes are elegant and the settings are sumptuous, while the camera work, sound and picture quality are great(at least to me).
The music is just sublime, so many highlights but my favourite will always be the final trio which is sung and conducted to perfection. The orchestral playing is lush and Herbert Von Karajan's conducting superb. The story and characters also engage and draw you right in.
The cast are just brilliant. I can understand why one mayn't warm to Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's voice, her lower register was throaty for my tastes, but she was a musical and intelligent singer, and here in an appropriately nuanced and deeply felt performance she proves why the Marshallin is one of her best roles.
Otto Edelmann also excels in one of his better(acting and pitch-wise) performances as Baron Ochs, and makes the character conniving and crude. Annelisse Rothenberger is a perfect and beautiful Sophie, Erich Kunz is terrific as Faninal.
Best of all is Sena Jurinac, who is magnificent. And I'd go as far to say she is the best ever Octavian.
Overall, fantastic and my favourite of such a wonderful opera. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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