Mark Obert-Thorn’s meticulous transfer of the original 78s of this classic opera set has the voices just as vivid as on EMI’s own transfer, tending to bring out more clearly the variable balances and volume-levels which marked the original. The performance remains peerless, with alternative performances by Lehmann and Richard Mayr set against recording by such rivals at the time as Barbara Kemp a superb Marschallin, Alexander Kipnis an Ochs ever more powerful than Mayr, with Richard Tauber masterly in the tenor aria of Act I (omitted in the main set of excerpts) and Conchita Supervia a delectable Octavian opposite the Sophie of Maria Ferraris singing in Italian. The selection is rounded off with live recording of the final trio and part of the duet made t the Theater der Unter den Linden in 1928 with Barbara Kemp, Delia Rienhardt and Marion Claire—a wonderful historic document.
"This 1933 Rosenkavalier is a classic recording, one that should be in every opera collection. Returning to it after a long hiatus confirms its status. Lotte Lehmann's Marschallin may be the best characterization on disc. Mark Obert-Thorn's transfers are more vivid and wide-ranging than others I've heard.