Independent on Sunday, The, Aug 29, 2004
by Anna Picard
Strauss: Capriccio, Edinburgh, 22 August 2004
Usher Hall
Strauss wrote several operas about opera, the last of which - Capriccio - was given in concert by conductor Leopold Hager and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. With Soile Isokoski's sweet- voiced Countess almost entirely buried in her score - learn that part, girl! - the performance instead belonged to the irrepressible Siegfried Vogel (La Roche) and Anne Sofie von Otter (Clairon) and young charmers Jonas Kaufmann (Flamand) and Christopher Maltman (Olivier): four singers with charisma enough to overcome a badly managed orchestral balance in the dazzling central octet. Despite Isokoski's apparent unfamiliarity with the ensembles and Hager's inability to curb the enthusiasm of the RSNO, this was as beguiling an introduction to this wonderfully concise and fascinating work as I could imagine. Love at first hearing.

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