One of Strauss' rarer operas, 'Friedenstag' (1938) occupies a particularly interesting place in his life. It was conceived and written during the late 1930s, at the time when his relationship with the Nazis was at its most difficult. Although the libretto was by Josef Gregor, he had been recommended to Strauss by the Jewish poet Stefan Zweig (librettist of the earlier opera Die schweigsame Frau (1936), who became black-listed by the Nazis and left Germany in 1938. 'Friedenstag' is cast in a single act and, as its name suggests, is a celebration of the ideal of peace. The style is relatively austere, concerning a story set in the early 17th century on the last day of the Thirty Years War. The Commandant of a fortress under siege resolves to die rather than surrender, but then news of peace arrives and he and his former enemy embrace with vows to work for a better world. Male voices dominate (see the cast list) and there is an important role for the chorus. However, there is a significant role for the Commandant's wife and her dignified aria is a memorable inspiration. It was dedicated to Viorica Ursuleac and her husband Clemens Krauss, the lead and conductor respectively in the premiere on July 24, 1938 and on the subsequent recording. 'Friedenstag' has been recorded relatively few times, just as it is seldom performed in the theatre. It is also a one act opera which lacks an obvious partner. Good sound unique cast including the legendary Fehenberger.