Richard Strauss - Last Four Songs

Last year I posted the same question and received many nice suggestions. The recording mentioned most was performed by Schwarzkopf with Szell (EMI 24356-69602).

Now I collected more recordings of this compositions,

1. Flagstad with Furtwangler,
Philharmonia Orchestra (world premiere in 1950)
2. Schwarzkopf with Ackermann,
Philharmonia Orchestra (1953)
3. Schwarzkopf with Szell,
Concertgebouw Orchestra (1964)
4. Schwarzkopf with Szell,
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (1966)
5. Janowitz with Karajan,
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (1974)
6. Norman with Masur,
Leopzig Gewanhaus Orchestra (1983)
7. Popp with Tennstedt,
London Philharmonic Orchestra (1982)
8. Studer with Sinopoli,
Staatkapelle Dresden (1994)
9. Bonney with Martineau (piano, 1999)

and I find all three performances by Schwarzkopf are somehow lack of the darkiness these songs try to delivery.

I am still struggling to find other nice performances. Please advise your suggestion(s).

Thanks in advance adn happy listening.

London Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by A. Davis - Kiri Te Kanawa. Strauss 4 Last Songs / Orchestral works. Very enjoyable performance.
What a marvelous song cycle! My two favorite recordings are thankfully both in print. Favorite new recording: Finnish soprano Soile Isokoski on Ondine (982). Favorite old recording: Lisa della Casa on Decca (Polygram 467118).
First, take note of this discography, if you have not done so before:

Second, try to get a listen to the Stitch-Randall/Somogyi on Westminster for a marvelously different sound.

Thank you for the very informative reference.

It is educational to know that there is a recording done by Neumann when he was the music director of the Leipzig Gewanhaus Orchestra.

I am curious about the performance difference(s) of Janowitz under Karajan and Celibidache, also the difference(s) of Te Kanawa under Davis and Solti. Based on the recordings I currently have, I really admire Karajan’s control of the melody flow for the very FIRST time (usually I don’t totally appreciate his readings). Regarding Te Kanawa’s recordings, I attended her live performance of “The Marriage of Figaro” in New York years ago. To certain degree, I didn’t feel the sadness of a lonely royal lady. So for those who have these recordings, please kindly share your experiences with us.

Thanks again for all your input.

Jessye Norman/Kurt Masur/Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on Philips Polygram 11052 (1987) is excellent, IMO.
"Jessye Norman/Kurt Masur/Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on Philips Polygram 11052 (1987) is excellent, IMO."

Too slow and labored for me.