Richard Strauss: Capriccio

Ulf Schirmer, Conductor
Robert Carsen, Director

Even if the world were to fall apart – as indeed it did on October 28th 1942 when Richard Strauss first performed his opera in Munich – Countess Madeleine would still remain, impassively awaiting an answer that would come neither “tomorrow morning at 11 o’clock”, nor for that matter, ever – an answer to the seemingly futile question: “Prima la musica, o prima le parole?” Is this a nostalgic twilight tribute to the world of yesteryear, which in its collapse would swallow up Stefan Zweig, the very artist who, in 1934, planted the idea for Capriccio in the composer’s head; or is it a mere caprice whose theoretical hedonism questions the position of the ageing composer, who entrenched himself in his Garmisch villa as dramatic events took place around him.

October 2005
Opéra National de Paris


Gerald Finely
Renée Fleming
Rainer Trost
Dietrich Henschel
Franz Hawlata
Anne Sofie von Otter

Performed with Orchestra of the Opéra national de Paris