“Seduction” – Songs by RICHARD STRAUSS: Steve Davislim, Tenor/ State Orchestra of Victoria/ Simone Young, cond. – Melba Recordings

by | Jun 17, 2009 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

"Seduction" – Songs by RICHARD STRAUSS – Steve Davislim, Tenor/ State Orchestra of Victoria/ Simone Young, cond. – Melba Recordings multichannel SACD 301108 **** [TrackList below]:

This is a lovely recording: gorgeous music, immaculately performed and recorded, sumptuously packaged but, alas, mistitled. These songs of Richard Strauss are not concerned with seduction. They speak rather of all aspects of conjugal love. Most  were composed by Strauss for his wife, Pauline, over the fifty-five year course of their marriage. They speak of the ardor of youthful love, the fullness of their life together and the glow of the prospect of dying together. The songs are, by nuance, filled with nostalgia, longing and a  richness not unlike the finest confection.

Steve Davislim, young Australian tenor, conveys the full measure of Strauss’ love songs. His voice ranges from hushed and wistful to heroic. Phrasing and emphasis are spot-on, in keeping with the verse. Davislim’s German seems as if it is his natural language.  He is very, very fine.

The Orchestra of Victoria under Simone Young provides more than worthy accompaniment. They star!  Ms. Young is a terrific Strauss conductor. She achieves a glorious orchestral sound, worthy of this composer whose instrument was the symphony orchestra. In SACD multichannel the ambience of Melbourne’s Iwaki Auditorium is captured with outstanding realism. Richard Strauss’ mastery of the orchestra and voice are thrillingly revealed.

Melba recordings has an extensive discography available on their website. Do visit and enjoy the brief video message by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE, Melba’s founding benefactor. It is joyously traditional.  This is the first Melba disc I have heard. If it is representative of the quality of their recordings, I look forward eagerly to more releases. Most  warmly  recommended.


    1.    Heimliche Aufforderung op.27 no 3 (2’56")
    2.    Allerseelen op.10 no 8 (3’02")
    3.    Ständchen op.17 no 2 (2’20")
    4.    Ruhe meine Seele op.27 no 1 (4’24’)
    5.    Morgen* op.27 no 4 (3’39")
    6.    Zueignung op.10 no.1 (1’56")
    7.    Traum durch die Dämmerung op.29 no 1 (2’58")
    8.    Ich trage meine Minne op.32 no1 (2’33")
    9.    Liebeshymnus op.32 no 3 (1’49")
    10.    Verführung op.33 no1 (7’48")
    11.    Das Rosenband op.36 No.1 (2’40")
    12.    Befreit op.39 no 4 (5’32")
    13.    Wiegenlied op.41 no 1, D (4’26")
    14.    Freundliche Vision op 48 No.1, D (2’05")
    15.    Waldseligkeit op.49 no 1, F sharp (2’57")
    16.    Die Heiligen drei Könige aus Morgenland op.55 no 6, C (5’19")
    17.    Capriccio** Closing scene, Moonlight Music (3’55")
    18.    Der Rosenkavelier: Second Waltz Suite, op 59 (8’00")
Total time: 70’26 
—  Ronald Legum

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