HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Decca) Richard Strauss – Die Frau Ohne Schatten (Böhm)

front-small-boxsetThis pearl is brought to you by Jean-Luc
Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal began their collaboration on Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman Without a Shadow) with utopian ambitions. Unfortunately they weren’t the same ones. For Hofmannsthal, this would finally be the opera where his poetry would be illuminated by rather than buried under the music. For Strauss, this was to be his magnum opus, the self-proclaimed “last Romantic opera” that would cement his place in musical history. The gargantuan work that finally emerged after World War I for a 1919 premiere didn’t end up being quite what they expected, and was lengthy and demanding enormous orchestral and vocal force, even by Straussian standards…..

Composer: Richard Strauss
Performer: Leonie Rysanek, Paul Schoeffler, Christel Goltz, Kurt Böhme, Hans Hopf, Elisabeth Höngen
Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker

Conductor: Karl Böhm
Vinyl (1957)
Number of Discs: 4
Format: Flac
Label: Decca
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 3.84 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory




…..The opera is set in a mythical empire. The Empress is not human, a spirit captured as a gazelle. She assumes human form, mastered by the Emperor. But she still has no shadow, a symbol of her inability to have children. She must gain a shadow, or be reclaimed by her father, and the Emperor turned to stone. The Empress, accompanied by her Nurse, descend disguised as humans, seeking a woman willing to sell her shadow: a Dyers Wife contracted is promised lovers and luxury. But ultimately the Empress ‘will nicht’; refuses to deny the wife her unborn children. (Empress’s renunciation liberates herself and reconciles both couples.)
Taken literally, the story is both over complicated and preposterous. But seen as a psycho drama, its language is embedded in ‘unconscious’ symbolism. The opera is, rather, a tale of motherhood from the perspective of Freud’s psycho analysis. Thus, out of guilt feelings for her father, the Empress is made barren. She casts -the symbol for it – no shadow. In her efforts to create this shadow, she undergoes a series of painful tests.
Hofmannthal’s libretto is full of dreams and dream symbolism . Characters are constantly explaining their dreams, and repressed wishes and desires. In Die Frau ohne Schatten the dream of the Empress is central to the plot. And the whole of the third Act could be seen as a continuous dream world.
Further, Hofmannsthal was influenced by Otto Rank, Rank’s concern was with the individual ‘self’, and the threat of its annihilation in death. Man seeks to annul this fear through erecting a series of of myths of Unsterblichkeit, man’s immortality.
The theme of man’s self-renewal -staying young through our children- is central. Also Rank (Doppelgänger, 1914) argues for the significance of the shadow- derived from oriental sources- as a symbol for the soul in art and literature.
Rank acknowledges the material for Strauss’s opera and Hofmansthal’s libretto. The complicated psychic experience of the Empress runs from her dream of the Emperor turning to stone; and lets her find the reason for her dejection, finally in her relationship to her mysterious father Kerkobad.The Empress, by refusing the wife’s shadow, discovers her own self, her humanity, ‘new birth’. (Burton)

Analyzed folder: /96k Strauss – Die Frau Ohne Schatten – Boehm
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR14        -0.82 dB     -20.14 dB     sideA.aif
DR15        -0.69 dB     -21.56 dB     sideB.aif
DR15        -1.00 dB     -21.08 dB     sideC.aif
DR13        -0.50 dB     -19.41 dB     sideD.aif
DR15        -0.56 dB     -21.12 dB     sideE.aif
DR14        -0.59 dB     -19.04 dB     sideF.aif
DR14        -0.61 dB     -19.56 dB     sideG.aif
DR12        -0.93 dB     -17.98 dB     sideH.aif
Number of files:    8
Official DR value:    DR14

  • Chorus – Chor Der Wiener Staatsoper
  • Conductor – Karl Böhm
  • Orchestra – Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Composer – Richard Strauss
  • Other [Barak, Der Färber] – Paul Schoeffler
  • Other [Baraks Frau] – Christel Goltz
  • Other [Der Kaiser] – Hans Hopf
  • Other [Die Amme] – Elisabeth Höngen
  • Other [Die Kaiserin] – Leonie Rysanek

Ripping Info


If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
My rips are almost rough rips.

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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PW: LaWally

13 thoughts on “HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Decca) Richard Strauss – Die Frau Ohne Schatten (Böhm)

  1. one of the greatest achievements of Böhm as conductor.
    i once had its licensed edition on Melodiya vinyl (mono variant).
    it does really deserve the most serious attention.

  2. I thought Levine’s comments interesting.
    But Alf’s transcription is a beautiful work of art from LP.
    Thanks also to Jean Luc.

    Review by: Robert Levine
    Artistic Quality: 9
    Sound Quality: 5
    This recording, live from the Vienna State Opera in 1955, was taped just weeks before virtually the same cast (there’s only one major difference) entered the studio and recorded it for Decca. The performances are remarkably similar: Karl Böhm, a master of this complex, beautiful score, presents it almost complete (there are, I believe, very small cuts here and there) and has assembled a superb, enthralled, and enthralling cast. The one major change from the studio recording is that whereas Paul Schöffler was the Barak for Decca, here we get Ludwig Weber, whose voice may be somewhat less beautiful than Schöffler’s, but is easily as expressive, endearing, and impressive.
    Leonie Rysanek is the familiar Empress, seemingly hypnotized and enchanted, her voice settling down after some initial pitch problems mid-range to offer a glorious reading, with gleaming, cutting top notes and true sentiment throughout. She makes us feel for the character and her plight. Her Emperor is the beefy tenor Hans Hopf, who is less crude than usual and has the notes and stamina for the role, particularly in the seemingly endless final scene, which, when presented as complete as is it here, can be quite a challenge.
    As the Dyer’s Wife, Christel Goltz is not quite in the same class with the others; her singing is secure and good enough but she lacks any subtlety and can’t compare with, say, Christa Ludwig in the role. Elisabeth Höngen’s Nurse is nasty and biting, and she gets through the role without shouting. Kurt Böhme’s Messenger is potent and the rest of the cast–Vienna stalwarts from the ’50s–is top notch.
    Böhm captures just the correct otherworldliness of the music, and the Vienna Philharmonic, tam tam, gongs and all, plays with great feeling and love. The sound is pure, clear monaural (the studio recording is early stereo but is essentially no better), with even the harps audible; Strauss’ exotica is underlined but not so prominent that we can’t hear the gorgeously tonal score. The vibrancy of the live experience is thrilling. If you own the Decca, you won’t need this, really, but you must own one or the other.

    ENJOY Alf’s presentation of Jean Luc’s provision!!!

  3. Vielen Dank, lieber Alf! Ich besitze bisher nur die CD-Aufnahme unter Sinopoli…bin deshalb sehr gespannt auf diese Aufnahme 🙂 Also a big thank you to Jean-Luc!!!

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