Sister swap

Richard Strauss’ Arabella is a bit of a peculiarity.  The music is top notch Strauss and the libretto is by von Hofmannsthal so it ought to be quite superb.  It doesn’t quite get there though.  It’s hard not to think that if von Hofmannsthal had lived a little longer he would have tightened up the libretto.  Act 1 works fine but Acts 2 and 3 seem rather contrived and could definitely use a few cuts.  I’m not sure that the whole Fiakermilli thing works either.  It’s almost as if Prince Orlofsky’s party mislaid Johann and found Richard by accident.  That said there is some very beautiful music.  Aber der Richtige, wenn’s einem gibt is going straight onto my list of top soprano duets.

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