28 July 2014 at 2.57pm | Comment on this article
First, rather fittingly, there is a yodel in Eine Alpensinfonie, played by an oboe in a scene entitled ‘Auf der Alm’ (In the Alpine pasture). The yodel crops up, slightly more surprisingly, in Arabella, when the Fiakermilli, the belle of the Coachman’s ball in Vienna, sings ‘Die Wiener Herrn verstehen sich auf die Astronomie’.
Strauss mimics the yodel’s characteristic shifts between chest and head voice in the Fiakermilli’s flurry of coloratura effects, wowing the other ball guests.
2014 sees the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss’s birth. The composer has been celebrated at the ROH with stagings of Die Frau ohne Schatten (which ran until 2 April 2014) and Ariadne auf Naxos (which ran until 13 July).