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Richard Strauss- Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel, Walzer, Metamorphosen

July 4, 2006 | Format: MP3

Also available in CD Format
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: June 19, 2006
  • Release Date: July 4, 2006
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • Copyright: (C) 2006 by EMI Records Ltd
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:14:04
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000S54NH8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,157 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
EMI has reissued Kempe's classic Richard Stauss recordings from Dresden more ways than McDonald's sells hamburgers, but they have one quality--freshness--that makes them enduring. The best thing here is the waltz suite from Rosenkavalier. Usually conductors lean heavily into the French horns and burlesque the waltz rhythms to remind us of the opera's comedy. Bypassing all that, Kempe remains alert and alive, giving us delightful shadings along the way. It's one of the best, if not the very best, recording I've ever heard of this evergreen score.

Also fresh and bright is Till Eulenspiegel, which like everything here has been remastered so well that there can be no complaints about the original analog sound. This Eulenspiegel isn't brash or naughty enough, however, and Kempe's discretion never breaks loose into comic abandon. I listened without smiling, good as the reading is. Don Juan also raised reservations: Kempe opens at breakneck speed, racing past a lot of expressive detail, only to slow down abruptly for the seductive second theme. I don't feel the swelling romance and epic swagger that this music receives under Karajan.

Finally, the last of Strauss's orchestral works, Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings, combines mourning for the destruction done by Allied bombing with Strauss's melodic sumptuousness. Readings can turn either way, toward grief or splendor. Dresden was one of the sacred musical places the bombs destroyed, and I expected Kempe to emphasize pathos--in fact, he underlines the melodic beauty and glowing tone of the music, abetted by the special finesse of the Dresden strings.

In all, this CD contains 73+ min. of classic recordings that have never sounded better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo Mio on September 4, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is as close to Richard Strauss's "greatest hits" you're likely to find on a single CD: the colorful "Don Juan," playful "Till Eulenspiegel," waltzes from "Der Rosenkavalier," and one of Strauss's most deeply felt pieces, his meditation on the horrors of World War II, "Metamorphosen." Rudolf Kempe, perhaps the last word where Strauss is concerned, is the conductor, in partnership with the Dresden State Orchestra. The missing piece is "Also sprach Zararthustra." For that, you won't go wrong with Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's rendition which is coupled with another must-have, "Ein Heldenleben."

This is orchestral playing at a very high level: assured, refined, precise, a journey taken in a sleek, well-oiled machine. "Don Juan" and "Till Eulenspiegel" are among Stauss's jauntiest tone poems. First performed in Weimar in 1889, "Don Juan" established him as the most important German composer of his generation. Written the year he was married, in 1894, "Till Eulenspiegel lustige Streiche" is an ebullient portrait of the "merry pranks" of the 14th-century rogue as he rampages through a market town, mocks religion, flirts with the girls, is caught and hanged. Fast-forward 50 years, and Strauss provided the orchestral reworkings of waltz themes from the first two acts of his opera "Der Rosenkavalier" (1911), which Kempe later rearranged and expanded to include music from Act 3. Written in 1944-5, "Metamorphosen" began as an adagio for 11 strings, evolved into a work for 23 solo strings, and quotes the funeral march from Beethoven's "Eroica" Third Symphony. The result is one of the most moving and deeply felt of all Strauss's compositions.

Recorded and released in the early 1970s, and later re-released as part of EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century," this really is one of the great recordings of the 20th century. It's also one of the essentials of a good classical music library. Five stars.
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