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Strauss: Alpine Symphony


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Audio CD, May 28, 2002
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Strauss: Alpine Symphony + Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra / Tod und Verklarung + Holst: The Planets
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: André Previn
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (May 28, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003CVX
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,523 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Nacht
2. Sonnenaufgang
3. Der Aufstieg
4. Eintritt in den Wald
5. Wanderung neben dem Bache
6. Am Wasserfall
7. Erscheinung
8. Auf blumigen Wiesen
9. Auf der Alm
10. Durch Dickicht und Gestrupp auf Irrwegen
11. Auf dem Gletscher
12. Gefahrvolle Augenblicke
13. Auf dem Gipfel
14. Vision
15. Nebel steigen auf
16. Die Sonne verdustert sich allmahlich
17. Elegie
18. Stille vor dem Sturm
19. Gwitter und Sturm; Abstieg
20. Sonnenuntergang
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
The performance by Previn and the Vienna Philharmonic is excellent.
Phil Hoff
The brass are heard loud and clear, the woodwinds never lose their delicate touch, and the strings play with the right amount of power and blissful lyricism.
Eric S. Kim
Still, this is quite a subtle distinction and not one that significantly mars the overall performance of truly deep and powerful music.
Dr. Christopher Coleman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Christopher Coleman on June 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Eine Alpensinfonie dates from a time and place now past when a respected composer could literally write for any orchestral forces he desired. It is scored for a huge orchestra (150 instruments, by one count--although not 150 different instrumental parts) and includes hecklephone, windmachine, thundermachine, tenor tubas, and 20(!) French horns--12 are offstage and play only in 21 measures of the piece, for less than one minute. It is a veritable bible of orchestration--Strauss is a master of handling huge forces, surpassed only by Gustav Mahler, and that arguably. But Strauss's layers of counterpoint and his textural conceptions can suffer at the hands of overenthusiastic performers or an insufficiently aware conductor. Andre Previn and the Vienna Philharmonic prove themselves more than capable, though, and this is an absolutely beautiful performance that always brings tears to my eyes. Following the score while listening to this recording demonstrates an astonishing clarity of performance in such a complex score, and if the low brass tone crests a bit on occasion it is surely Strauss's intention--otherwise he would not have written two trombones and two tubas on a pedal G (!) fortissimo. That passage cannot and should not be played delicately--trust me, I'm a trombonist. Worthier of note are the fantastic performances by the first trumpet, who Strauss treats as almost superhuman; the gorgeous horn/tenor tuba section, and the fantastically lush sound overall. The performance is not without flaws, but the problems are minor indeed and issues of interpretation--for example, at the very ending Previn does not observe Strauss's fermata, and the violins never really glissando noticeably where Strauss indicates to do so.Read more ›
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By D. Seymour on February 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I'll agree with the reviewer below that this may not be the most passionate version of the Alpine Symphony available. However, this disc is my favorite of the four Strauss discs recorded by Andre Previn on Telarc. The Symphony speaks for itself. It is a cliffhanger packed full of beautiful, energetic themes. Telarc captures the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra sound as vast as all outdoors. The glassine woodwinds and sumptuous strings descend down the mountain like the cascades of an avalanche. The near presence and dynamic range of the orchestra help promote the travelogue nature of the piece. I feel that Previn's carefully calculated reading allows the listener to absorb Strauss' stunning orchestral effects with the appropriate cold chills.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eric S. Kim on February 17, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I introduced myself to Richard Strauss's work when I purchased the recordings of David Zinman and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. I noticed right away that R. Strauss was a master of Late Romantic Classical Music. The composer had created some timeless melodies and complex orchestral structures. Don Juan, Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration), and Festliches Präludium (Festival Prelude) are prime examples of his apparent intelligence. Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony) was composed in 1915, a time when he was at the peak of his career. It is one of his most programmatic works, and requires over a hundred players. It is musically complex, and yet it's quite colorful and tremendously explosive. Although the work itself a bit of a challenge because of the number of players required, it has found itself a wide discography. Numerous conductors such as Karl Bohm and Neeme Jarvi have accepted the challenge and, as a result, have been praised for their own renditions with the orchestras that they have chosen. My personal favorite is still the Zinman recording, the first one that I've ever purchased. However, it looks like Zinman has found a worthy adversary: André Previn.

With the ever-popular Vienna Philharmonic, Previn pays as much attention as Zinman. The only difference is that Previn adds more energy into the piece. He displays more emotion as he superbly captures the imagery of the Alps: from the rivers to the glaciers to even the cow & its cowbell. The Vienna Philharmonic's performance is just dazzling. The brass are heard loud and clear, the woodwinds never lose their delicate touch, and the strings play with the right amount of power and blissful lyricism. There are some faults to Previn's recording, however.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By schimmel1885 on November 1, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My husband loved this when he heard it on the radio. I quickly found this CD on amazon and ordered it for him. We had just got the tail end of Hurricane Sandy when my husband fell on the sleet and broke three ribs. Now he has lots of time to listen to the storm in this recording while sitting indoors!
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Format: Audio CD
03-28-2014 Right off let me say that Telarc's decision not to set this multi sectioned work in individual tracks was a mistake. In order to reach different episodes in this ling work, one must slide through them and watch the timer ofn their players. I wonder if this is unhealthy for CD players as I suspect it may be. Anyone know????? Anyhow, i will sample this Alpine Symphony instead of taking it one minute at a time. Some highlights then.
The very opening of the AS is a great place to start and Previn's night, into day segement is gorgeouss and a precursort of better things to come. Telarc allows me to hear the very quiet opening deep winds/brass rumblings as the dawn approaches then slides into a glorious sunrise. As the star rises in the Alpine sky the music quickly warms with the great VPO doing the honors. Previn's tempo, from the onset, is broad and stately and fits like a glove. One of the several reasons he sits on my top five all-time favorite conductor list, along with Giulini, Solti, Ternnstedt, and headed by Haitink. Honorable mention to Karajan, Sanderling, Zinman, Klemperer, Levine and a few others. Perhaps I need a top-ten, instead,eh? Before proceeding, here are my other Alpinmes,: Kempe/Dresden, Barenboim?CSO, Solti?Bavarian Radio, Blomstdedt/SFSO,-terrific!--Haitink/LSO--SACD-- Janowski/Pittsburg--also SACD, and my newest, already reviewed here the other day, and this Previn?VPO from Austria Thanksgiving week, 1989. At 48:18 it may be the briefest of them all, but is far from rushed---very far from rushed!! Just beautiful. the off-stage horns in the 7-8 minute section are nicely audible and appropriately distant.
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