OP2109. DER ROSENKAVALIER, Live Performance, 3 March, 1995, w.Andrew Davis Cond. Royal Opera House Ensemble; Ann Murray, Anna Tomawa-Sintow, Barbara Bonney, Kurt Moll, etc. (UK) 3-Opus Arte OA CD9006D. - 809478090069
"Richard Strauss's most popular opera mixes comedy and philosophy with frce and romance. Exceptional singing from Anna Tomowa-Sintow (The Marschallin) is perfectly complemented by Kurt Moll's Baron Ochs, Ann Murray's Octavian and Barbara Bonney's Sophie, with the Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Andrew Davis.
Andrew Davis has firm control of the score, its textures iridescent, the momentum sustained with a grace and urgency exactly suited to the psychological turmoil afflicting the protagonists. Don’t miss the new cast at any cost.”
- H. P. Casavant
“Kurt Moll, the imposing German bass whose theatrical flair and cavernous low notes allowed him to plumb the serenity, humor and ferocity of a wide array of operatic characters created by Mozart, Strauss and Wagner, was his generation’s pre-eminent Baron Ochs in Strauss’ DER ROSENKAVALIER, mixing humor with a distinct tinge of menace in his portrayal of the character, a boorish lecher who gets his comeuppance. It was not a role that came easily to him. ‘Well, it took me forever to do it properly’, Mr. Moll said in a wide-ranging interview with THE NEW YORK TIMES in 1979. ‘It’s probably the hardest role in the bass repertory, and what’s hard is capturing the infinite number of nuances of both the language and the music. No doubt about it, Ochs is a real killer!’
But Mr. Moll was equally persuasive in other, quite different parts. He made a spiritual, magisterial Sarastro in Mozart’s DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE. Reviewing a 1991 performance, Donal Henahan wrote in THE TIMES that he ‘not only projected Sarastro’s mystic nobility and humanity, but also, more solidly and audibly than any basso profundo in years, the role’s subterranean F’s and F sharps of his two arias’.
Mr. Moll was a comic, scene-stealing Osmin in Mozart’s DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL and a stentorian Commendatore in Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI. And he sang a wide range of Wagner’s fathers, cuckolds, giants and monarchs. He became especially known for his Gurnemanz, the old knight in PARSIFAL.
Mr. Moll once offered an insight into his approach to singing opera while discussing how, in Wagner’s TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, he tackled the part of the melancholy King Marke, who loses his bride to his would-be heir. ‘His monologue contains some of the most ravishing music ever written, but it’s also very long and very inward’, he said . ‘If the bass isn’t careful, he will find that his audience has fallen fast asleep by the end of it. You can stand there in your beard, and that beard will seem to get longer and longer as you sing’.”
- Michael Cooper, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 9 March, 2017