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Music

Concert Hour: Dresden Staatskapelle with Christian Thielemann (Pt. 1 of 2)

In this week's show: A sampling of the sounds from Richard Strauss' operas, performed in the city in which many of them had their premieres by the Dresden Staatskapelle under Christian Thielemann.

Christian Thielemann on stage in Dresden

Christian Thielemann, pictured during the Dresden gala concert

Dresden is connected with Richard Strauss' work like no other city. It's where he premiered nine of his 15 operas, and this year, to mark 150 years since the composer's birth, the Semper Oper paid tribute to Strauss with a series of concerts. We present selections in this week's show from one of those concerts, featuring the Dresden Staatskapelle, American soprano Christine Goerke and a conductor renowned for his takes on Strauss: Christian Thielemann.

Dresden's performances of Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier," from which we'll hear the first waltz sequence, were so popular following the opera's 1911 premiere that Germany's rail operator set up special service to the city from Berlin. Remnants from that heady period remain in the concert we'll hear: in fact, some of the musicians even use scores from the first performance.

"It's the greatest joy if you can work with an orchestra that like this one has such a tradition in the repertory of Strauss and Wagner. You almost think Strauss himself is about to come down the aisle and ask whether the rehearsal is about to begin," Thielemann tells us.

Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
First waltz sequence from "Der Rosenkavalier"
Opening monologue "Allein!
Weh, ganz allein" from "Elektra"
"Liebesszene" (orchestral interlude) from "Feuersnot"
"Ah!
Du wolltest mich nicht Deinen Mund küssen lassen, Jochanaan" from "Salome"

Christine Goerke, soprano
Dresden Staatskapelle
Christian Thielemann, conductor

Recorded in the Semper Opera by Central German Radio (MDR), Halle, on June 11, 2014

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