Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten
Joseph Keilberth
Catalogue No.

Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow) which Richard Strauss composed with his long-time collaborator, the poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal, received an unenthusiastic premiere in Vienna on 10th October 1919. Hofmannsthal’s complicated and heavily symbolic libretto was cited as one of the problems. However, it is now a standard part of the operatic repertoire and Keilberth’s recording was made on November/December 1963 at the re-opening of the National Theatre in Munich, boasting a stellar cast which included Hertha Töpper, Jess Thomas, Martha Mödl and Hans Hotter as well as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Inge Borkh as the Dyer and his wife.


Die Frau ohne Schatten

The Emperor – Jess Thomas
The Empress – Ingrid Bjoner
The Nurse – Martha Mödl
The Spirit-Messenger – Hans Hotter
A Guardian of the Threshold of the Temple – Ingeborg Hallstein
Apparition of a Young Man – Georg Paskuda
The Voice of the Falcon – Gerda Sommerschuh
A Voice from Above – Hertha Topper
Barak, The Dyer – Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
His Wife – Inge Borkh

Bayerischer Staatsopernchor
(Chorus Master: Wolfgang Baumgart)
Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Joseph Keilberth

Recording information

Executive producer: Otto Gerdes
Recording producer: Wolfgang Lohse
Balance engineer: Heinz Wildhagen
Recording location: München Nationaltheater, Munich, Germany, November-December 1963


‘Keilberth has many good moments, particularly in the lyrical and the quieter parts of the work. […] fine, well-toned singing [from Jess Thomas] … Ingrid Bjoner gives a lovely performance of her difficult part, bringing out the essential lovableness, pathos and humility of the character and rising to all Strauss’s demands […] Inge Borkh is in magnificent voice … extraordinary brilliance of tone, and her overall conception, in all its changing moods, could not be bettered’ Gramophone, August 1964