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Classical Notes

Highlights from Rosenkavalier - IV

Posted at 8:00 AM on July 22, 2011 by Rex Levang

Final installment in these Rosenkavalier highlights, as we look ahead to tomorrow night's broadcast:

Act III: The Baron is trying to seduce a chambermaid (actually Octavian in disguise). The Baron tries to get her/him tipsy. The response, which even non-German majors can understand, is: "Nein, nein, nein, nein! I trink kein Wein!"

The tune may seem trivial, but Strauss has plans for it.

At the end of the opera, the "Nein, nein" melody in the previous example makes its comeback--but transformed in its new context.

The Marschallin, Sophie, and Octavian all realize that, ready or not, their lives are changing forever. Strauss expresses this in a soaring trio--one of the most famous ensemble pieces in opera.