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*Deutsch

Photo: Guy Gravett
Glyndebourne 1987, John Cox, dir

Strauss, Richard

Capriccio (1940-41)

Duration: 130 minutes
A conversation piece for music

Libretto by Clemens Krauss (G,E,F,I)

Scoring
Major roles: dramS,dramA,heldT,2Bar,B; minor roles: S,2T,B; chorus: 4T,4B 3(III=picc).2.corA.3.bhn.bcl.3(III=dbn)-4.2.3.0-timp.perc:cyms/BD- hpd-2harp-strings(16.16.10.10.6) On-stage: vln.vlc-hpd; backstage: string sextet.
Abbreviations (PDF).


Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for all countries except Germany, Italy, Portugal, Danzig, and the former territories of the USSR.



World Premiere
10/28/1942
Nationaltheater, Munich
Conductor: Clemens Krauss
Company: Bavarian State Opera

Roles

COUNTESSSoprano
COUNTBaritone
FLAMAND, a musicianTenor
OLIVIER, a poetBaritone
LA ROCHE, director of a theatreBass
CLAIRON, an actressContralto
M. TAUPETenor
ITALIAN SINGERSoprano
ITALIAN TENORTenor
MAJOR-DOMOBass
8 servants4 Tenor, 4 Bass
Young DancerDancer


Time and Place
A Château near Paris, about 1775


Synopsis
In the Countess Madeleine’s château, the composer Flamand and the poet Olivier listen to a rehearsal of Flamand’s newly written sextet. They are both in love with the Countess, and argue the relative merits of music and words. The theatre director La Roche, waking up from a nap, explains that without impresarios their efforts are but lifeless paper. They leave to rehearse Olivier’s new play, written for the Countess’s birthday the following day. The Count enters, teasing the Countess that she is identifying Flamand with her love of music, while she retaliates that his love of words mirrors his admiration for the actress Clairon. While the Count enjoys fleeting encounters, the Countess desires long-lasting love but cannot choose between Flamand and Olivier. Clairon arrives and she and the Count read the latest scene, culminating in a love sonnet, before leaving for the rehearsal in the theatre. Olivier declares to the Countess that the sonnet is intended for her but, to his horror, Flamand sets it to music and sings it. Olivier is summoned to make cuts to his play. Flamand declares his love and the Countess asks him to meet her in the library the following morning when her choice will be revealed. Refreshments are served while the guests are entertained by dancers and singers. La Roche describes his planned birthday entertainment, the allegorical Birth of Pallas Athene followed by the spectacular Fall of Carthage. He is mocked, but defends his faith in the theatre, challenging Flamand and Olivier to create masterpieces that speak to humanity’s heart and soul. The Countess commissions them to collaborate on an opera, and the Count suggests the theme should be the events of that afternoon. The Count and Clairon leave for Paris with the theatre company. With moonlight streaming in through the windows, the Countess learns that Olivier as well as Flamand will meet her in the library to learn how the opera is to end. Torn between them, she sings the sonnet that represents their inseparability. She consults her image in the mirror to decide the opera’s ending. The major-domo provides the answer: ‘Dinner is served’.


Moods
Comic, Romantic


Subjects
History, Relationships, Literary, Music/Arts


Recommended Recording
Gundula Janowitz/Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau/Peter Schreier/Hermann Prey/Karl Ridderbusch/Tatiana Troyanos/Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Karl Böhm
Deutsche Grammophon 445 3472

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Items on Sale

Capriccio Op85Libretto (English)> Details
Capriccio Op85Study Score (hardback)> Details
Capriccio Op85(Vocal Score) (German)> Details
Capriccio, Op. 85 SATB & pianoSATB, Orchestra (Vocal Score)> Details
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