This recording originated from Denon CD’s released in the early to mid 80s, when their PCM Digital Recording process provided arguably the best recorded sound of the era. Nippon Columbia (Denon) were pioneers in digital recording technology, and actually recorded pianist Vlado Perlemuter digitally as far back as 1970!
When they embarked on their ambitious recording programme of orchestral works, they concentrated their efforts in the then DDR, and with Radio Orchestras in West Germany. From this project emerged many truly great recordings, none more so than those made with the glorious Dresden Staatskapelle under Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt (who was born in the USA to Swedish parents who returned to Sweden when he as 2 years old.)
The first release in the Richard Strauss series was Ein Heldenleben, recorded in 1980 and which opened our ears to new sonic possibilities. Until then, Blomstedt was known primarily as an interpreter of Scandinavian music, but his association with the great Dresden Orchestra revealed his pre-eminence in the music of Bruckner, Beethoven, Schubert and above all Richard Strauss in no small measure thanks to the beautiful and detailed sound captured by the Denon Engineers in the famed Lukaskirche-and the recording team was from Denon in Japan not VEB as was usually the case in that era. They employed a simple 2 microphone approach with a few subtle additional mikes to ensure percussion effects were caught effectively-the session photographs (not included in this reissue) showed harps and snare drum actually behind the conductor to his right).Read more ›