Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (3CD)
Karl Bohm's only studio version of this work was recorded in 1958. When Deutsche Grammophon originally planned the recording, there were already two rival versions on the market: the Decca recording under Erich Kleiber and EMI's version under Herbert von Karajan. Karajan's recording was made in December 1956 and should have included Irmgard Seefried as Octavian and Rita Streich as Sophie but in both cases cast changes became necessary: Seefried was replaced by the young Christa Ludwig, and pregnancy forced Rita Streich to withdraw.
As a result, Deutsche Grammophon was able to use both these singers for its own recording exactly two years later. It boasts a wonderful cast with the full-throated Marianne Schech as the Marschallin, Irmgard Seefried bringing a range of colour to the 'trouser' role of Octavian, Rita Streich light and exquisite as Sophie and a rounded, lyrical portrait of Faninal from Fischer-Dieskau. The recording also reunited Bohm with his old orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, an orchestra often referred to as the 'Zauberharfe' or 'Magic Harp' for the fluent and airborne quality of its sound.
The Marschallin: Marianne Schech
Baron Ochs of Lerchenau: Kurt Böhme
Octavian: Irmgard Seefried
Herr von Faninal: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Sophie: Rita Streich
Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin: Ilona Steingruber
Valzacchi: Gerhard Unger
Annina: Sieglinde Wagner
Chor der Staatsoper Dresden
Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden