Which maestro did singers love best in Rosenkavalier?

Which maestro did singers love best in Rosenkavalier?


norman lebrecht

March 20, 2019

There was a symposium today at the Vienna Opera for its 1,000th performance of Der Rosenkavalier.

Among those taking past were Christa Ludwig, Gundula Janowitz, Gwyneth Jones…. happily reminiscing about the conductors they liked and those they detested.

Best loved?

No surprise.

And the one they liked least? Answer to be revealed tomorrow.


Btw, the 1,000th Baron Ochs in Vienna will be sung by the British bass, Peter Rose.



  • Nik says:

    A symposium? Was the wine any good?

  • I do hope my discography can help 🙂
    It’s in Dutch, but…


  • Viola da Bracchio says:

    Says it all. Still rehashing the past.

    Opera doesn’t belong in “symposiums”.

  • Caravaggio says:

    “taking past” is right in relation to that crew (-:

  • Patrick says:

    No need to wait for tomorrow, in typical Norman Lebrecht fashion the answer is: Herbert von Karajan!

    • Richard craig says:

      I agree Patrick Lebrecht can’t wait to get his teeth into Karajan.but we shall sèen considering Janowitz.and Ludwig were amount his favourite singers

  • hullexecutive says:

    for those of us who don’t recognize pictures of the ancients, who is this?

  • Gianfranco says:

    Carlos Kliber the greatest

  • Don Ciccio says:

    But I don’t think any of them sung Rosenkavalier under Clemens Krauss, still the greatest conductor of anything named Strauss.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Judging from Clemens Krauss’ recordings, I would not limit the superlatives to his interpretations of Richard Strauss. He was a very great conductor. And, by the way, does anyone know of any other conductor who also wrote an excellent libretto?

      • Don Ciccio says:

        Well, I did say “anything named Strauss”, so I thought I made clear that I am not limiting myself to Richard Strauss.

        But you’re correct: Krauss was a great conductor, period. His Ring is amazing – and this is just to begin with.

    • Dirigent says:

      Krauss was an unrepentant old Nazi, but pretty good with the stick.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        “Krauss’s own position on Nazism was unclear, although he did enjoy a close relationship with Nazi official Alfred Frauenfeld and it has been claimed that he sought Nazi Party membership in 1933. However, throughout the 1930s he and his wife were involved in helping Jews escape from Germany. After befriending British novelist Ida Cook and her sister Mary, both opera fans, he gave cover to their smuggling operation (started after Viorica asked the Cooks to assist a Jewish friend). Munich Opera House shows were arranged around the times and cities that the Cooks needed to make contact with escapees.”

      • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

        Karl Bohm is alleged to have said: “Well, we didn’t kill all the Jews, but at least we tried!”

  • Jeremy Aktin says:

    ==And the one they liked least?

    Great, some gossip. Will be checking out SD tomorrow

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Reportedly Karl Böhm was a bully with young musicians.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    Yes a predictable choice . His father achieved similar results, judging from his recordings & reputation, with a large repertoire and a full schedule with a minimum of fuss. How many great conductors would achieve similar results to Carlos Kleiber if they restricted their repertoire to few works with huge number of rehearsals and very few performances a year? A very untested conductor.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      You are referring to Carlos Kleiber’s late years. Reportedly he conducted a wide repertoire in his early years, when he learned his craft and earned his fame.

    • Bill says:

      If it is that easy, why haven’t more done it?

    • Ben says:

      1) If a conductor is up to no good, why do you think he/she would keep getting invited back to conduct the same limited number of songs that are supposed to be up to no good since he/she is “untested”?

      (my comment does not apply to female conductors, since some of them are more equal than others)

      2) Case Study: Kaplan Gilbert kept conducting the same 1 and 1/5 of of Mahler in his life. Guess how that turned out?

    • M McAlpine says:

      Kleiber was certainly not an ‘untested’ conductor as he had over 400 performances at opera houses. Later in his career with a stellar reputation and able to command staggering fees, he restricted his conducting to a few works of which Rosenkavalier was one of them.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Oh God; I wish Kleiber was still here so I could hold a ‘symposium’ with just him!!! Of course he was beloved.

  • artea says:

    Felicity Lott can’t have been there. She was too busy being wonderful at the NT’s production of Follies (matinee and evening).

  • Player says:

    Who was the least favourite, Norman? Answer promised days ago!

  • Allen says:

    “And the one they liked least? Answer to be revealed tomorrow.” Surely it must be Semyon Bychkov who has been one the most unpleasant conductor’s I have worked with particularly in regard to his cold demeanor and how little he actually contributes to the music with mere endless / pointless repetition.