STRAUSS: Salome
Hidegard Behrens (Salome). Karl Walter Böhm (Herod). Agnes Baltsa (Herodias). José van Dam (Jochanaan). Wieslaw Ochman (Narraboth). Helja Angervo (Page); Vienna Philharmonic Orch/Herbert von Karajan, cond. (rec. 1977-1978)
STRAUSS: Elektra
Eva Martón (Elektra). Cheryl Studer (Chrysothemis). Marjana Lipovsek (Klytämnestra). Bernd Weikl (Orest). Hermann Winkler (Aegisth). Chorus and Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio/Wolfgang Sawallisch, cond. (rec. 1990).
STRAUSS: Der Roseenkavalier
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Marschallin). Christa Ludwig (Octavian). Teresa Stich-Randall (Sophie). Otto Edelmann (Baron Ochs). Eberhard Wächter (Faninal). Kerstin Meyer (Annina). Nicolai Gedda (Italian tenor). Ljuba Welitsch (Marianne). Philharmonia Chorus and Orch/Herbert von Karajan, cond. (rec. 1956)
STRAUSS: Ariadne auf Naxos
Gundula Janowitz (Prima Donna/Ariadne). Sylvia Geszty (Zerbinetta). Teresa Zylis-Gara (Composer). James King (Bacchus). Erich-Alexander Winds (Major-Domo). Theo Adam (Music Master). Dresdem State Orch/Rudolf Kempe, cond. (rec. 1968).
STRAUSS: Die Frau ohne Schatten
René Kollo (Emperor). Cheryl Studer (Empress). Hanna Schwarz (Nurse). Andreas Schmidt (Spirit Messenger). Alfred Muff (Barak).Ute Vinzing (Dyer's Wife). Tölzer Children's Chorus; Chorus and Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio/Wolfgang Sawallisch, cond. (rec. 1987).
STRAUSS: Intermezzo
Lucia Popp (Christine). Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Robert Storch). Gabrielle Fuchs (Anna). Adolph Dallapozza ((Baron Lummer). Kurt Moll (Opera Singer). Philipp Brammer (Little Franzi) Bavarian Radio Orch/Wolfgang Sawallisch, cond. (rec. 1980).
STRAUSS: Die schweigsame Frau
Theo Adam (Sir Morosus). Anneliese Burmeister (Housekeeper). Wolfgang Schöne (Barber). Eberhard Büchner (Henry Morosus). Jeanette Scovoti (Aminta). Carola Nossek (Isotta). Trudeliese Schmidt (Carlotta). Chorus and Orchestra of the Dresden Opera/Marek Janowski, cond. (rec. 1976-1977).
STRAUSS: Friedenstag
Bernd Weikl (Commandant). Sabine Hass (Maria). Jaakko Ryhänen (Sargeant). Jan Vacik (Private). Alfred Kuhn (Musketeer). Chorus and Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio/Wolfgang Sawallisch, cond. (rec. 1988).
STRAUSS: Daphne
Lucia Popp (Daphne). Reiner Goldberg (Apollo). Ortrun Wenkel (Gaea). Kurt Moll (Penelos). Peter Schreier (Leukippos). Chorus and Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio/Bernard Haitink, cond. (rec. 1982).
STRAUSS: Capriccio
Elisabeth Schwazkopf (Countess). Eerhard Wächter (Count). Nicolai Gedda (Flamand). Dietrich Fischer-Dieakau (Olivier). Hans Hotter (La Rouche). Christa Ludwig (Clarion). Rudolf Christ (Taupe). Anna Moffo (Italian soprano). Philharmonia Orch/Wolfgang Sawallisch, cond. (rec. 1957/1958)
WARNER CLASSICS 50999431799 (22 disks)
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What a fantastic collection this is!! And at super-budget price! These 22 CDs contain all of EMI's recordings of Strauss operas. The only major omissions are Arabella and The Egyptian Helen. Also among the missing are Der Liebe der Danae, Feuersnot and Guntram. But let us be grateful for what is included. We have all of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf complete Strauss operas with her signature roles of the Marschallin in Rosenkavalier and the Countess in Capriccio. Lucia Popp is heard in Daphne and Intermezzo. We have a very young Hildegard Behrens as Salome, and Eva Martón at her best in Elektra. And check out the conductors, all masters of Strauss:: Karajan, Sawallisch, Kempe, Haitink and Jurowski.

Packaging is basic, simply a box containing the disks and a small booklet that gives complete cast and recording information. No program notes except for a brief appreciation of the composer and his op eras, and of course there are no libretti—not a problem as collectors already will have these. Each disk is in a separate jacket that has complete track and timing information. It seems these recordings have been remastered, and now sound better than ever. I recall the original dim-sounding issue of Salome—now the sound is vivid indeed. This is a remarkable set for opera lovers: ten Strauss operas in legendary performances, at minimal cost. Don't miss this one!

R.E.B. (January 2014)