Monday, 20 February 2012

Anne Schwanewilms shines as Marschallin

Rosenkavalier. DVD. Dresden Semperoper in NHK Hall, Tokyo, Japan. 2007. Production: Uwe Laufenberg. Conductor: Fabio Luisi. Cast: Anne Schwanewilms (Marschallin), Anke Vondung (Octavian), Kurt Rydl (Ochs), Maki Mori (Sophie).

What sets this DVD apart from most is Anne Schwanewilms Marschallin.

Laufenberg´s staging is classic, dark, decidedly un-sparkling and updated to what probably is the 1950´s.

Hut here we have Anne Schwanewilms, in what is probably her best role. Truly spitzenklasse.  Her almost vibratoless middlevoice and her attack on the top notes is entirely unique and may be heard also in her superb lieder albums of Strauss. Furthermore she is radiant and projects a wonderful warmth. Quite possible the best Marschallin I have seen on DVD. Her voice is not big, her soprano is not soaring and on stage, she occasionally disappoints. But here, she is simply divine.
Anke Vondung has the perfect voice for Octavian. Firm, slender and with an effortless high register.
Maki Mori not quite on the level of the other two, though she is young and fresh with effortless high notes.
While Kurt Rydl definitely has the acting skills, as well as the deep notes, all the other notes come with a far from negligeable wobble. Fabio Luisi conducts a solid performance.

However this DVD is worth seeing for the sake of Anne Schwanewilms.

Act 1 "Da geht er hin":

The bottom line (scale of 1-5, 3=average):

Anne Schwanewilms: 5
Anke Vondung: 5
Mori Maki: 3-4
Kurt Rydl: 3

Fabio Luisi: 3-4

Laufenbergs staging: 3

Overall impression: 4

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