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Strauss: 5 Great Tone Poems

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 16, 1994
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  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Disc 2
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orch.
  • Conductor: Haitink, Jochum
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (August 16, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B000004198
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,025 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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By Doug - Haydn Fan VINE VOICE on May 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Before discussing this great reissue I thought I'd give a little provenance to these recordings. Far too many people today simply don't realize these CDs were once long playing records, since the majority of buyers have never owned a record player!

Many years ago - when you could buy several gallons of gas for a single dollar - the recording world was all about long playing records. As the sixties ended and the seventies began records made by the major American companies fell into disrepute. The major American companies such as Columbia and RCA insisted on stamping records out like so many beer cans. Since most classical music, unlike most popular music, was made up of silence and soft passages as well as loud passages, classical records needed very quiet surfaces. Thus the across the board collapse in the playing quality of American classical records had a direct and most egregious effect on the classical record consumer's pleasure when attempting to enjoy a purchase. By the middle of the seventies, as gas prices started their endless climb, record companies in America turned to using poorer and poorer grade shellac, while at the same time switching their pressing factories back and forth from pop pressings churned out by the hundreds of thousands straight over to much smaller runs of the more demanding needs of classical issues, with bad results in quality control. These American records were inflicted with a myriad of disturbing and annoying defects; from poor surfaces with endless pops and clicks to completely impossible warpings and scratches. Thinner and thinner records were stamped out - culminating in long playing records so thin you could flex and twist them. The record companies claimed this was a positive, but the buyers knew otherwise.
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15 Comments 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
The star of this Duo set is the Heldenleben, which alone is enough to justify the money spent. Hermann Krebbers plays the violin solos magnificently and Haitink gives a strongly expansive reading. However, the same expansive approach does not work too well in "Zarathustra" and "Tod", which have a certain Brucknerian stodginess. You will be left wishing for a bit more pace and brio in the playing. "Don Juan" and "Till Eulenspiegel" are excellently paced and played however. They are among the best performances I have ever heard.
2 Comments 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Philips outdid itself with wonderfully warm, clear, detailed sonics for Haitink's Also Sprach Zarathustra, and he obliged the engineers with a detailed reading that is riveting in every way. There is not a touch of Solti's vulgarity, and although I never thought I'd say it, this recording sounds better and comes off more dramatically than even Karajan's more famous accounts of Zarathustra on Decca and Dg. Let's call it a tie. Everything else in the fill-up works is wonderful as well.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Richard Strauss was a great composer. He is sometimes referred to "The Other Strauss", and his music is stunning compared to Johann Strauss who composed the 'little waltzes'. FAR AND AWAY more interesting and as a classical pianist and organist, I waste no time on Johann's little trite stuff.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Perhaps the most memorable facet of Richard's Don Juan, for me, is the soaring horn motif some 8-9 minutes into the poem. I follow the early surges and ebbs of the poem with anticipation, and then glory in the announcement of the principle character.'s theme. This recording does the job for me very well--including (if one listens very carefully) a sotto voce "practice murmer" --just before the horns attack. I am well satisfied. I hope that you will be too. The accompanying four poems are also done very well--- but I especially enjoy the "Don Juan".
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