These Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. Der Rosenkavalier has one of the longest and most exquisitely crafted texts of all opera. The depth and subtlety of the characterization can only be appreciated by those who have read it. Derrick Puffett notes that the sentimentality and parody of the subject perfectly matched Strauss's genius. Michael Kennedy's detailed musical commentary shows how the large orchestra is handled with exceptional skill. Peter Branscombe points out that Hofmannsthal set a new standard of libretto-writing and shows how the ideas in Der Rosenkavalier may be traced to his other works for the stage, in his prose and poetry.