STRAUSS: Intermezzo — Vienna 1963

Music composed by Richard Strauss. Libretto by the composer.

First Performance: 4 November 1924, S‰chsisches
Staatstheater Opernhaus, Dresden

Principal Roles:
Hofkapellmeister Robert Storch, a composer Baritone
Christine, his wife Soprano
Anna, the chambermaid Soprano
Baron Lummer Tenor
Der Notar [Notary] Baritone
Frau des Notars Soprano
Kapellmeister Stroh, a conductor, and skat partner of Storch Tenor
Ein Kommerzienrat, and skat partner Baritone
Ein Justizrat, and skat partner Baritone
Ein Kammers‰nger, and skat partner Bass
Franzl, the Storch’s son Spoken Role

Setting: Vienna and Grundlsee during a 1920’s winter


The composer Storch is leaving for a conducting tour, and his wife
Christine helps him pack, arguing and nagging along the way. Seeking relief
from lonelinesss she goes toboganning and collides with a skier, a young
Baron who befriends her. They dance together at a ball and she arranges for
him to lodge in the house of her notary. The friendship is soured when the
Baron asks Christine for financial assistance. She opens a letter, supposedly
for her husband, from a lady arranging an assignation. She immediately
telegrams Storch demanding they part for ever. In tears, she seeks solace in
her son’s bedroom but he defends his father. Storch is playing skat with
friends in Vienna when the telegram arrives, and is bewildered by the
accusations. Stroh, a conductor friend, admits that he knows the lady and
surmises that his and Storch’s surnames must have been confused. Christine
visits the notary to demand a divorce, but he is unwilling to pursue the
matter. She sends the Baron to Vienna to gather evidence of infidelity.
Packing to leave, she receives a telegram from her husband saying that Stroh
will explain the misunderstanding. Even after Stroh’s visit she is reluctant
to accept the truth.Storch returns home, and an argument ensues. The Baron
arrives with evidence that Stroh rather than Storch had indeed known the lady
and Christine dismisses him, assured that her husband is blameless. Storch
forgives her anger and teases her about her dalliance with the Baron. Husband
and wife declare a renewed love.

[Synopsis Source: Boosey
& Hawkes

here for the complete libretto

image_description=Richard Strauss
first_audio_name=Richard Strauss: Intermezzo
product_title=Richard Strauss: Intermezzo
product_by=Anna (Anny Felbermayer), Baron Lummer (Ferry Gruber), Christine (Hanny Steffek), Der Notar (Alfred Poell), Ein Kammers‰nger (Ludwig Welter), Franzl (Peter Rille), Frau des Notars (Judith Hellwig), Justizrat (Alois Pernerstorfer), Kapellmeister Stroh (Waldemar Kmentt), Kommerzienrat (Oskar Czerwenka), Robert Storch (Hermann Prey). Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper. Joseph Keilberth (cond.)

Live performance: 1 May 1963, Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna