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Richard Strauss: Ständchen

It’s a day for favorites: My favorite composer, Richard Strauss, my favorite song, “Ständchen”, and my favorite singer, Kathleen Battle. As soon as I declare a favorite, my mind immediately thinks of a dozen other “favorites,” but I don’t intend to be dishonest! You music lovers know what I mean. There are always many favorites.

But this song…. my goodness, this song makes me dizzy in the best way. I love the liveliness of the piano, shimmering like moonlight on leaves or a love-stricken heart, flowing radiantly underneath a buoyant and lyrical vocal line. Kathleen Battle is, in my mind, the ultimate interpreter. Her light and youthful sound, breathtakingly beautiful as it soars through Strauss’s expert writing, captures the innocence and excitement of this secret meeting of lovers. Yes, I am using many superlatives, because this piece deserves it.

Please give way to rapture and let the music carry all your worries away… after all, that is what we need most from music sometimes.

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