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  • Friedenstag (Staatskapelle Dresden, Sinopoli)
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Friedenstag (Staatskapelle Dresden, Sinopoli)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Oct. 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00005O44B
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 249,614 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 31 Mar. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have no idea why this single disc opera is selling for very high prices on Amazon uk at the moment, when it is still available at a reasonable price on Amazon.com, but I think it's worth acquiring and not just if you are a Strauss completist. As a big Strauss fan, I drew the line at the interminable "Guntram", and indeed that is the only Strauss opera which is probably performed less often than this one, which still awaits a UK premiere, I believe. It requires a big orchestra and two sterling singers and is awkward to pair with anything else. Additionally, its subject matter is rather arcane and possibly simplistic or sentimental to a modern audience; the irony is that it was frequently performed during the 30's while the Nazis were in the ascendant and no-one in authority seemed to find its message of peace, love and harmony incongruous with Nazi Germany's aggressive rearmament and expanionism. The action is set in the Thirty Years' War, the bloodiest period of internecine strife in German history, but the contemporary relevance must surely have been overt.

The libretto gave Strauss the devil's own job; it is a fairly high-flown collaboration between Stefan Zweig, (who, being Jewish, had to beat a hasty retreat but still kept an eye on things) and his librettist successor Josef Gregor. Both were sincere but had less of an ear for drama and dialogue than the composer himself; meanwhile he was typically too deferential to men of letters, just as he had been with Hofmannsthal. I have read some pretty damning things about both the opera and this recording, but have to say that they give me pleasure and neither the opera itself not Sinopoli's performance is anywhere near as bad as some maintain, despite some mild longueurs, especially at the beginning.
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By huw on 20 Jun. 2014
Format: MP3 Download
This opera has an interesting background. However, just to stick to the music. It is quite unique in Strauss's operatic output. It is set at the end of the 30 years war between the Catholics and protestants. It deals with issues of starvation, soldiers devotion to duty (the Kaiser) and ideology (religion). It ends with the bell of peace ringing and a "fidelio like" cantata to peace at the end. There is peace and reconciliation. The music is really unique and creates an atmosphere of desperation and foreboding. This is an excellent performance and recording.

The background is fascinating. Strauss's previous opera "The Silent Woman" had been banned by the Nazis because the librettist (the famous author Stefan Zweig) was a Jew. All of Strauss's music was banned from performance for a year and he was forced to resign from his job as head of the Reich's ministry of music. The idea for this opera was from Zweig. Strauss chose to work on the opera anyhow, with the official librettist being Joseph Gregor. The opera can be interpreted in many ways: The musicologist Professor Pamela Potter believes that it is a coded protest against the Nazis. The music is written to appeal to the Nazi aesthetic (very "Germanic" on the surface), but the real message is anti-war. There are lots of "non-aryan" elements in the music if you look: whole tone sequences (Debussy was banned), a Mahler like march theme and so on. Strauss knew that the Nazis were too stupid to spot these.

The opera was a great success in Germany: premiered in 1938, it was performed a lot (up to 100 times) until the Nazis prevented further performance in 1940 soon after the outbreak of war. However, to this day it remains largely unperformed. If you want to discover a new side of Strauss, I can recommend it. He always claimed he was apolitical, but the "Til Eulenspeigal" in him loved to cock a snoop at the authorities, even at the age of 74!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pacifist Strauss still packs a punch 31 Mar. 2010
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I think this opera is worth acquiring and not just if you are a Strauss completist. As a big Strauss fan, I drew the line at the interminable "Guntram", and indeed that is the only Strauss opera which is probably performed less often than this one, which still awaits a UK premiere, I believe. It requires a big orchestra and two sterling singers and is awkward to pair with anything else. Additionally, its subject matter is rather arcane and possibly simplistic or sentimental to a modern audience; the irony is that it was frequently performed during the 30's while the Nazis were in the ascendant and no-one in authority seemed to find its message of peace, love and harmony incongruous with Nazi Germany's aggressive rearmament and expansionism. The action is set in the Thirty Years' War, the bloodiest period of internecine strife in German history, but the contemporary relevance must surely have been overt.

The libretto gave Strauss the devil's own job; it is a fairly high-flown collaboration between Stefan Zweig, (who, being Jewish, had to beat a hasty retreat but still kept an eye on things) and his librettist successor Josef Gregor. Both were sincere but had less of an ear for drama and dialogue than the composer himself; meanwhile he was typically too deferential to men of letters, just as he had been with Hofmannsthal. I have read some pretty damning things about both the opera and this recording, but have to say that they give me pleasure and neither the opera itself nor Sinopoli's performance is anywhere near as bad as some maintain, despite some mild longueurs, especially at the beginning.

First, the Staatskapelle is superb; from 1992 until his death, Sinopoli inspired what was already a truly world-class orchestra. Secondly, despite reviews to the contrary, the singing is equally impressive: Albert Dohmen at times sounds very much like George London and brings the heft and authority of a seasoned Wotan to the role of the Commander. He is certainly preferable to Weikl's bleaty sound in the rival Sawallisch recording. Deborah Voigt is phenomenal: touching and feminine in her vulnerablity yet whacking out some terrific top C's in the final, rousing paean to Peace. I do not hear any unsteadiness, discoloration or steeliness in her tone, just hear one great dramatic soprano giving it all she's got and employing a trenchant lower register as required. Just as Dohmen is superior to Weikl, she is far preferable to Sabine Haas. Perhaps neither has the majesty of Hotter and Ursuleac but they do not have the advantage of high-tech sound, having been recorded in 1939. Supporting parts are well taken, especially Botha's caricatured Italian tenor, recalling a more celebrated role in "Der Rosenkavalier".

The music is not consistently first-rate - some of what Pauline Strauss called "note-spinning" obtrudes - and there are plenty of echoes of other Strauss operas, not least how the opening, with guards on watch, reminds us of the start of "Salome" and how the blazing C major finale of "Friedenstag" recalls that of "Die Frau ohne Schatten" - but those last pages really make the most glorious noise when performed con gusto by Sinopoli and his willing forces. I thoroughly enjoy the work and even confess to finding many ideas moving - such as the entwining of the personal sorrow of the Commander's wife with her spirited appeal for reconciliation, or the elation of that last chorale. There is also a recording of a good live performance featuring the splendid Alessandra Marc, but on balance this recording seems the best choice, in that we have music here to which Sinopoli was especially temperamentally suited.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Enthusiastic Voigt's Singing,Uninspired Strauss' Opera 17 Feb. 2005
By Guntram - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Not the best Strauss' music ever but a very deserving recording by late Sinopoli and his team.This "Day of Peace" was conceived during NazisxStrauss crisis because his collaboration with jewish Stefan Zweig,then replaced by livret writer Joseph Gregor.By listening "Friedenstag",it's possible to realize that Strauss didn't like Gregor's lines;in despite of some interesting achievements(the people-choir beseeching for food,the reconciliation between the two rivals commandants))this one act-opera reserves its best music bars to Maria,the only character that has a name(others gain patents,only).I supposed this recording should be a must have to Voigt's admirers;there're another cd version with Alessandra Marc but surely,Maria is just perfect to Voigt's singing and she fulfils a so enthusiastic performance that listener will be intoxicated by her vocal radiance and that big amount of hot top C's on final.Her phrasing over "But a day must come when waiting ends;beloved,I want the truth!I want you!" is one of the most beautiful I heard on discs ever.I didn't like her partner,Albert Dohmen(the Commandant)'cause I think he has a strange vocal texture or,in another words,a rough voice,besides that exaggerated diction on surrender scene.Botha sings well finished his poetical and italianate character and Sinopoli pulls out the best of this score with his fine orchestra and chorus.Like a huge Strauss fan,I think this cd an absolutely unmissable one.
1 of 23 people found the following review helpful
This recording is not the one you want 5 Jan. 2009
By Joel - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Don't waste your time with this recording, it sucks. The only good CD is the live recording from Carnegie Hall with soprano Alessandra Marc (conducted by Robert Bass).
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