OP0424. ARABELLA, Live Performance, 12 Aug., 1947, Salzburg Festival, w.Böhm Cond. Vienna Opera Staatsoper Enesmble; Maria Reining, Lisa della Casa, Hans Hotter, Georg Hann, Julius Patzak, Rosette Anday, etc. (Germany) 3-DG 445 342, w.Elaborate Libretto-Brochure. Final Sealed Copy! - 028944534221
“The cumulative impact of Böhm as a Strauss conductor is being documented these days by Deutsche Grammophon in a fascinating series of historic opera recordings. Some of the CD sets are merely reissues of entries available in the commercial catalogue long ago. Others, more important, are taken from the broadcast archives of the Salzburg Festival.
Most interesting, perhaps, is a performance of ARABELLA from the summer of 1947. The Austrian city lay in postwar ruin. Böhm, whose cooperation with the Nazi regime had cast a long shadow, had just been granted permission to resume his career. Food was scarce, and morale was obviously low. The time didn’t seem ideal for a lighthearted performance of Strauss’ nostalgic demi-masterpiece.
But here it is - always elegant, sometimes charming, ultimately poignant (DGG 445 342-2). The proceedings, astonishingly well-recorded, are dominated - authoritatively despite a few moments of distress - by veteran soprano Maria Reining. She is nobly seconded by the very young Lisa della Casa (herself an incipient Arabella) as the radiant Zdenka. Hans Hotter introduces an unusually powerful yet sensitive Mandryka, and Georg Hann is a splendidly hearty Waldner. In those days they had ensembles.”
- Martin Bernheimer, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9 Oct., 1994