Welser-Most: Music is about give and take

The Salzburg Festival is running a series of mostly obsequious and banal interviews with this summer’s headliners. But these clips from the Franz chat reveals something of his attitude to singers. He’s conducting Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae:

welser-most salzburg

You will work with Krassimira Stoyanova for the second time in Salzburg. Is she among the great Strauss interpreters of our times?

The very first German-speaking part which Krassimira Stoyanova ever sang was under my direction at the Vienna State Opera, in Ariadne. It was clear then that her voice is made for Strauss. With her portrayal of the Marschallin – also a first for her with me – she took her place as an equal among her most famous predecessors in this role in Salzburg. These two roles undoubtedly make her one of THE Strauss singers of our times – one who knows how to convey the touchingly intimate aspects of this music.


You often work with the same singers in Salzburg. What is the advantage of that?

Music is about give and take. Familiarity makes many things easier, and you can probe the depths of a work much more profoundly. Stoyanova was my Ariadne and my Marschallin; Hangler was my sensational Daphne in New York; Konieczny sang Wotan and Mandryka with me, and since the almost unsingable role of Jupiter is a mix of the two former, he was the logical choice. Gerhard Siegel, who is unjustly pigeonholed in the Mime category, and Norbert Ernst, whose lyrical voice is developing increasingly in the direction of a lyrical hero, are also musical comrades-in-arms. After all the beautiful experiences I have shared with these singers, I am greatly looking forward to working with them again.


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  • Somehow I like how this man, FWM, takes the hype out of the conducting profession, which at times has been perverted into a cult.
    An intelligent, competent, eloquent and well mannered conductor and musician, who doesn’t take music and the orchestra hostage for his ego-trip, that’s commendable.
    There is also Manfred Honeck, another Viennese, with similar character traits.
    I hope the time of the ego-shooters on the podium are over.

    • Humorous, Doug … though accurately stated. Now, you decide whether we’ll call such truth irony or repartee.

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