I realized that I have never posted the ending of Der Rosenkavalier. I am correcting that mistake here. I am posting two different performances; one from a 1933 recording, and one from a 1956 Met broadcast. Both casts are superb, but in different ways.

1956 Met

Marschallin (the Field Marshall’s wife): Lisa Della Casa
Octavian: Rise Stevens (The photograph in the youtube video shows Sena Jurinac; it was not she but Stevens in the broadcast
Sophie Hilde Güden

Conductor: Rudolph Kempe

I am echoing what the person posting this excerpt has already said. This recording has been known for a long time. The sound has been remastered here, and while it is contemporary sound, the quality is improved enough for me to post it.

Marschallin: Lotte Lehmann (this was one of her signature roles)
Octavian: Maria Olszewska
Sophie: Elisabeth Schumann

Conductor: Robert Hegel

Trio: Maria Theres’!… Hab mir’s gelobt [6:30]
Duet; finale: Ist ein Traum [11:50]

MARSCHALLIN
vor sich, zugleich mit Octavian und Sophie
Hab’ mir’s gelobt, Ihn lieb zu haben in der richtigen Weis’. Dass ich selbst Sein Lieb’ zu einer andern noch lieb hab! Hab’ mir freilich nicht gedacht, dass es so bald mir aufgelegt sollt’ werden!
seufzend
Es sind die mehreren Dinge auf der Welt, so dass sie ein’s nicht glauben tät’, wenn man sie möcht’ erzählen hör’n. Alleinig wer’s erlebt, der glaubt daran und weiss nicht wie – da steht der Bub’ und da steh’ ich, und mit dem fremden Mädel dort wird er so glücklich sein, als wie halt Männer das Glücklichsein verstehen. In Gottes Namen.

OCTAVIAN
zugleich mit der Marschallin und Sophie, erst vor sich, dann Aug’ in Aug’ mit Sophie
Es ist was kommen und ist was g’schehn, Ich möcht’ Sie fragen: darf’s denn sein? und grad’ die Frag, die spür’ ich, dass sie mir verboten ist. Ich möcht’ Sie fragen: warum zittert was in mir? – Ist denn ein grosses Unrecht geschehn? Und grad’ an die darf ich die Frag’ nicht tun – und dann seh’ ich dich an, Sophie, und seh’ nur dich und spür’ nur dich, Sophie, und weiss von nichts als nur: dich hab’ ich lieb.

SOPHIE
zugleich mit der Marschallin und Octavian, erst vor sich, dann Aug’ in Aug’ mit Octavian
Mir ist wie in der Kirch’n, heilig ist mir und so bang; und doch ist mir unheilig auch! Ich weiss nicht, wie mir ist. (ausdrucksvoll) Ich möcht’ mich niederknien dort vor der Frau und möcht’ ihr was antun, denn ich spür’, sie gibt mir ihn und nimmt mir was von ihm zugleich. Weiss gar nicht, wie mir ist! Möcht’ alles verstehen und möcht’ auch nichts verstehen. Möcht’ fragen und nicht fragen, wird mir heiss und kalt. Und spür’ nur dich und weiss nur eins: dich hab’ ich lieb.

Marschallin geht leise links hinein, die beiden bemerken es gar nicht. Octavian ist dicht an Sophie herangetreten, einen Augenblick später liegt sie in seinen Armen.

OCTAVIAN
zugleich mit Sophie
Spür’ nur dich, spür’ nur dich allein und dass wir beieinander sein! Geht alls sonst wie ein Traum dahin vor meinem Sinn!

SOPHIE
zugleich mit Octavian
Ist ein Traum, kann nicht wirklich sein, dass wir zwei beieinander sein, beieinand’ für alle Zeit und Ewigkeit!

OCTAVIAN
ebenso
War ein Haus wo, da warst du drein, und die Leut’ schicken mich hinein, mich gradaus in die Seligkeit! Die waren g’scheit!

SOPHIE
ebenso
Kannst du lachen? Mir ist zur Stell’ bang wie an der himmlischen Schwell!
Halt’ mich, ein schwach Ding, wie ich bin, sink’ dir dahin!

Sie muss sich an ihn lehnen. In diesem Augenblick öffnen die Faninalschen Lakaien die Tür und treten herein, jeder mit einem Leuchter. Durch die Tür kommt Faninal, die Marschallin an der Hand führend. Die beiden jungen stehen einen Augenblick verwirrt, dann machen sie ein tiefes Kompliment, das Faninal und die Marschallin erwidern. Faninal tupft Sophie väterlich gutmütig auf die Wange.

FANINAL
Sind halt aso, die jungen Leut’!

MARSCHALLIN
Ja, ja.

Faninal reicht der Marschallin die Hand, führt sie zur Mitteltür, die zugleich durch die Livree der Marschallin, darunter der kleine Knabe, geöffnet wurde. Draussen hell, herinnen halbdunkel, da die beiden Diener mit den Leuchtern der Marschallin voraustreten. Octavian und Sophie, allein im halbdunklen Zimmer, wiederholen leise.

OCTAVIAN
zugleich mit Sophie
Spür’ nur dich, spür’ nur dich allein und dass wir beieinander sein! Geht all’s sonst wie ein Traum dahin vor meinem Sinn!

SOPHIE
zugleich mit Octavian
Ist ein Traum, kann nicht wirklich sein, dass wir zwei beieinander sein, beieinand’ für alle Zeit und Ewigkeit!

Sie sinkt an ihn hin, er küsst sie schnell. Ihr fällt, ohne dass sie es merkt, ihr Taschentuch aus der Hand. Dann laufen sie schnell, Hand in Hand, hinaus. Die Bühne bleibt leer, dann geht nochmals die Mitteltür auf. Herein kommt der kleine Knabe, mit einer Kerze in der Hand, sucht das Taschentuch, findet es, hebt es auf, trippelt hinaus.

MARCHALLIN in front of her, together with Octavian and Sophie
I promised to love him in the right way. That I myself still love His love for another! Of course, I did not think that it would be so soon as I was told!
sigh
It’s the many things in the world that make you do not believe it when you want to hear it. But whoever experiences it believes in it and does not know how – there stands the boy, and here I stand, and with the strange girl there, he will be as happy as men understand the happiness. For God’s sake.

OCTAVIAN
at the same time as the marshal and Sophie, first in front of her, then in ‘eye with Sophie
There is something to come and what is possible, I would like to ask you: may it be? and the Frag, I feel that she is forbidden to me. I would like to ask you: why is something trembling in me? – Has a big wrong happened? And I’m not allowed to do the Frag ‘to that – and then I look at you, Sophie, and just see you and only feel you, Sophie, and know of nothing but: I love you.

SOPHIE together
with the marshal and Octavian, first in front of him, then in the eye with Octavian
I feel like in church, holy is me and so bang; and yet it is unholy to me too! I do not know what I feel. (Expressive) I would like to kneel down there in front of the woman and would like to do something to her, because I feel ‘she gives me him and takes something from him at the same time. Do not know how I feel! I want to understand everything and I do not want to understand anything. I want to ask and not ask, I feel hot and cold. And only feel you and know only one thing: I love you.

Marschallin quietly enters the left, the two do not notice. Octavian has come close to Sophie, a moment later she is in his arms.

OCTAVIAN together
with Sophie
Feel only you, just feel alone and that we are together! Does all else go away like a dream before my mind!

SOPHIE
at the same time as Octavian
Is a dream, can not really be that we are two together, together ‘for all time and eternity!

OCTAVIAN
as well
Was there a house where you were, and the people send me in, straight into bliss! They were all gone!

SOPHIE
as well
Can you laugh? I feel as if I am standing at the heavenly threshold!
Hold me, a weak thing, as I am sink you!

She has to lean on him. At that moment, Faninal’s lackeys open the door and enter, each with a chandelier. Faninal comes through the door, leading the marshal by the hand. The two boys are confused for a moment, then make a deep compliment, which Faninal and the marshal return. Faninal pats Sophie good-naturedly on the cheek.

FANINAL
Are just aso, the young people!

MARSHALLIN
Yes, yes.

Faninal shakes hands with the marshal and leads her to the center door, which was opened at the same time by the marshal’s livery, including the little boy. Outside bright, herd dark, as the two servants with the candlesticks ahead of the marshal. Octavian and Sophie, alone in the dimly lit room, repeat softly.

OCTAVIAN
at the same time as Sophie
Spür ‘just you, just feel’ alone and that we are together! Does it all go away like a dream before my mind!

SOPHIE
at the same time as Octavian
Is a dream, can not really be that we are two together, together ‘for all time and eternity!

She sinks to him, he kisses her quickly. You notice her handkerchief without her realizing it. Then they run quickly, hand in hand, out. The stage remains empty, then the center door opens again. In here comes the little boy, with a candle in his hand, looking for the handkerchief, finding it, picking it up, tripping out.

Synopsis:

ACT I
Vienna, during the last years of the Habsburg Empire. The Marschallin, Princess von Werdenberg, has spent the night with her young lover, Octavian, Count Rofrano. He hides when a page brings breakfast, then again when loud voices are heard in the antechamber. The unexpected visitor is the Marschallin’s country cousin, Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau. Bursting into the room, he brags about his amorous conquests and his upcoming marriage to Sophie von Faninal, the young daughter of a wealthy bourgeois. When he asks the Marschallin for advice as to which cavalier could present Sophie with the traditional silver engagement rose, she suggests Octavian—who suddenly, to avoid discovery, emerges from his hiding place disguised as a chambermaid. The baron instantly starts to make advances towards “Mariandel,” who quickly makes her escape as the room fills with the daily crowd of petitioners and salespeople. Among them is a singer, whose aria is cut short by Ochs’s wrangling with a lawyer over Sophie’s dowry. The Baron hires a pair of Italian intriguers, Annina and Valzacchi, to locate the shy servant girl.

When the room is cleared, the Marschallin, appalled by the thought of the rude Ochs marrying the innocent young girl, muses on her own waning youth. The returning Octavian is surprised to find her in a distant and melancholy mood. He passionately declares his love but she can only think about the passing of time and tells him that one day he will leave her for a younger woman. Hurt, he rushes off. The Marschallin tries to call him back, but it is too late. She summons her page and sends Octavian the silver rose.

ACT II
On the morning of her engagement, Sophie excitedly awaits the arrival of the Rosenkavalier. Octavian enters and presents her with the silver rose on behalf of the Baron. Sophie accepts, enraptured, and the two young people feel an instant attraction to each other. When Ochs, whom Sophie has never met, arrives, the girl is shocked by his crude manners.

ACT III
At the height of the confusion in Act III, the Marschallin enters. Octavian takes off his disguise and the Marschallin explains to Ochs that it was all a farce. He finally admits defeat and leaves, pursued by the innkeeper and various other people who all demand payment of their bills. Left alone with Octavian and Sophie, the Marschallin laments that she must lose her lover so soon, but nevertheless accepts the truth. She gives the bewildered Octavian to Sophie and quietly leaves the room. The young lovers realize that their dream has come true.

Richard Strauss June 11, 1864 – September 8, 1949

Richard Georg Strauss was born in Munich on June 11, 1864. He was the first child of the Musician Franz Joseph Strauss and his wife Josepha. By Strauss’s 18th Birthday, he had composed 140 works. His “Opus 1” “Festive March for Large Orchestra” was released in 1881.

Upon recommendation of his Mentor at the time, the renowned Wagner Conductor Hans von Bülow, Richard Strauss became the Music director in Meiningen at 21.

One year later in 1886, the musician moved on to become the third Musical Director (Kapellmeister) at the Munich Court Opera (Münchner Hofoper).

Strauss moved to Weimar in 1889. He was appointed 2nd Kappellmeister until 1894 and met a great challenge as a conductor. With the premieres of “Don Juan”, “Death and Transfiguration” and “Macbeth”, Strauss’ fame as a composer grew. His first opera “Guntram” raised only moderate success, but he nonetheless managed to compose several more songs (Lieder) during this time.

Strauss left for Munich in 1894 to assume the role of first Chapel Master. In 1897 his son Franz was born. Up until 1898, his success lay primarily in tone poems (such as “Thus spoke Zarathurstra”). It was through these that Strauss succeeded in becoming internationally renowned. Despite this success, he still did not get the position as the Munich General Music Director. He reacted to this in his own way – by going to Berlin and composing a Symphony based upon his own life: the “Sinfonica Domestica”.

With the premiere of “Salome” in Dresden in 1905, Strauss defined the term modern opera music for his supporters as well as his critics.

The polar reactions of enthusiasm mixed with acute rejection continued with the opera “Elektra” – which was Strauss’ first work with the poet Hugo von Hoffmansthal. However the opera proved to be a success. With the proceeds from “Elektra”, Strauss was able to construct his villa in Garmisch which later became the family residence.

Strauss was now a settled. This could be seen in his works: with “Rosenkavalier” in 1911, Strauss competed with the legacy of his namesake (Johann) Strauss. He shortened “Ariadne” in 1912 to a more publicly accepted version. Strauss and Hofmannsthal soon gained the reputation of a “wonder team”. They were then joined by director Max Reinhardt who was made responsible for creating effective staging and production.

When Strauss’ considerable fortune was confiscated during World War I (as “enemy assets”), it was then that the real value of his music emerged: he finished “Woman without a Shadow” in 1916 and in the last year of the war he began to compose Lieder again with his “Krämerspiegel” (“The Shopkeeper’s Mirror”).
When he was appointed Vienna State Opera Music Director in 1919, Strauss fought against its image as an “opera museum” and brought new productions to the opera house.

Strauss and Hofmannsthal wished to confront the sadness of the post war era with the beauty of culture. As a result, they founded the Salzburg Festival in 1920 with Reinhardt and the set designer Alfred Rolle.

While his family was settled in Vienna, Strauss brought music to the world by touring the USA and South America. His son was married in 1924 to the daughter of a Jewish industrialist, a new villa was built, and Strauss became honorary citizen of the city of Vienna. However, in that same year, Strauss resigned from his position as Vienna State Opera Director, and left the city – not without resentment.

During the 20s, the Strauss-Hofmannsthal “Wonderteam” worked on lighter pieces and musical comedies; “The Egyptian Helen” and “Arabella” were produced. When Hofmannsthal died in 1929, Strauss saw a congenial poet in Stefan Zweig. Strauss created “Silent Woman” with his new partner.

In 1993 Strauss was made President of the German State Music Bureau “Reichsmusikkammer”. The following years would come with mixed feelings. Strauss was unable to convince others in his fight against the Aryan policies of Hitler and thus incurred Goebbels’ wrath. Nonetheless, he composed the “Olympic Hymns” for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. He and his “Jewish related” family remained under the protection of Gauleiter Baldur von Schirach. Strauss composed his last two operas “The Love of Danae” and “Capriccio” and escaped to Switzerland in 1945 where he experienced great financial hardship.

Shortly before his death in 1949, Strauss relived some of his old fame and recognition. A Strauss festival took place in London in 1948 and Munich began preparations for several honours that would be awarded to him for his 85th birthday in 1949.