Near the end of his life, Richard Strauss wrote one of the most hauntingly beautiful and intellectually profound works of the Twentieth Century: “Capriccio, A Conversation in Music”. Premiered in Munich in 1942, literally in the middle of the Second World War, Strauss’ opera is utterly indifferent to politics. It is a meditation, frequently highly ironic, upon the purposes of art and the transformative powers of beauty.
Perhaps the finest performance possible was mounted in San Francisco with Kiri Te Kanawa as the countess. It’s available here. Please, buy it.
Kiri Te Kanawa talks about preparing for the role in San Francisco
San Francisco Opera production