Author Topic: Richard Strauss's house  (Read 66820 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Bonehelm

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1685
  • Little Yu
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2008, 03:03:45 PM »
I heartily agree!!

How old is that Kempe set by the way, I know for sure it's not modern sound...

Offline Lethevich

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9758
  • I spilled my drink!
  • Currently Listening to:
    Rihm, Bialas, Ballif, Schumann, Schubert
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2008, 03:12:08 PM »
How old is that Kempe set by the way, I know for sure it's not modern sound...

IIRC they are early 70s, and sound clear and powerful, although not state of the art.
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Daverz

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5166
  • You can't fool me, it's turtles all the way down!
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2008, 03:26:49 PM »
How old is that Kempe set by the way, I know for sure it's not modern sound...

Oh noes, now recordings made in the late 70s are historical?

Most of this set has excellent sound, very full and rich.

Gustav

  • Guest
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2008, 04:17:31 PM »
How old is that Kempe set by the way, I know for sure it's not modern sound...

The sound is okay, really, not very well-defined as the one with Reiner/CSO on Living Stereo.

Offline Bonehelm

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1685
  • Little Yu
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2008, 05:48:53 PM »
Good, sounds great. THanks!

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9838
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2008, 03:04:29 PM »
Naxos has issued a new recording of the Four Last Songs with Ricarda Merbeth, the Weimar Statskapelle and conducted by Michael Halasz. There is an excerpt on the Gramophone disc; the voice is exciting, well produced, strong and she uses the words. The track is a song I don't know and the couplings have avoided the obvious. I fancy getting it and hearing what they do with the main event.

Mike
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 03:46:28 PM by knight »
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Gustav

  • Guest
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2008, 10:13:20 AM »
another very satisfying Ein Heldenleben


M forever

  • Guest
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2008, 07:26:50 PM »
The sound is okay, really, not very well-defined as the one with Reiner/CSO on Living Stereo.
Oh noes, now recordings made in the late 70s are historical?

Most of this set has excellent sound, very full and rich.

I think "the truth" is somewhere in the middle, the sound is indeed generally very rich and also mostly very transparent (which is also a function of the orchestra's playing), but it can be a little bright and harsh sometimes. In any case, the sound is vastly superior to the Reiner recording on RCA which does not diminish the achievement of the RCA engineers, just puts it into its historical place. For the time, they were quite good, and they were also among the earlier stereo releases back then, but they also sound very muddy and flat in general. The impression some people have that they are very "well defined" isn't really true but comes from the careful and clever highlighting the RCA people did. They brought some of the elements to the foreground and EQed them very brightly, so they sound "brilliant" and "well defined", but also very artificial. It kind of sounds like someone took a bright marker to a dim and underexposed image and outlined some of the shapes. But it doesn't matter that much anyway because musically, the recording is pretty irrelevant. Reiner was a good orchestra trainer, but after he had rehearsed them to death and terrorized them into playing all the right notes in the right places (more or less, there are actually a lot of flaws in the playing on this recording, although it is not always easy to hear that in the general background noise behind the highlighted elements), not much music making happened. The CSO certainly does not come anywhere near the SD in the freedom and richness of the playing, the lyrical and very idiomatic way they play the music. That can be heard in any of ther recordings, but it is particularly interesting to listen to the Böhm recording which was made by DG only a few years later - in 1957, I think - but still in mono. Unfortunately - or maybe not. A lot of recording companies back then thought the time wasn't ripe for stereo just yet, and I think they were right. In any case, the playing is musically and stylistically vastly superior to what the CSO managed to achieve under Reiner. It is obvious that what he tried to do was to teach them to play in the kind of lean and defined but very sonorous way the SD play, but that's not so easy and they didn't quite get there.

But no matter what recordings one might want to compare the Kempe recordings to, it basically doesn't get any better musically and stylistically, the playing is as "idiomatic" as it gets, too. Not without reason was the SD Strauss' favorite orchestra. And Kempe who had grown up in that tradition and studied at the orchestra's own music school understood and lived that musical tradition, so this set belongs into the colleciton of anyone who likes to listen to Strauss' music. Interestingly, it was my bass teacher who first turned me on to these. He had played in the BP for 42 years and when we talked about Strauss, he said "well, I guess we play the music quite well, too, but nobody can play it like they do in Dresden, so you should listen to these recordings"...

Sean

  • Guest
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2008, 07:43:28 PM »
Interesting stuff M, really. I wish I had time to contribute a bit more; the late romantic is the heart of the repertory and the great 20th century conductors  I have a strong feeling will never be surpassed, at least not until a different socio-historical period.

Offline Marcel

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 120
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2008, 10:15:51 PM »
Hi,

Does anybody know, is this set:
http://music.brilliantclassics.com/epages/joan.storefront/4811850d00100e43271ed5d385f4065f/Product/View/7591

same as this:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=10406

By comparing soloists and conductor/orchestra I see it is. But what about sound quality?

Thanks
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 10:18:08 PM by Marcel »

Offline Lethevich

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9758
  • I spilled my drink!
  • Currently Listening to:
    Rihm, Bialas, Ballif, Schumann, Schubert
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #30 on: April 24, 2008, 03:32:45 PM »
The BC set is identical to the EMI and has not had a remastering done to it. As they currently sell for around the same price, I'd get the EMI, as its packaging is less garish.
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8704
  • An American Hero!
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2008, 10:38:37 AM »
Recently I revisited Elektra on videotape, a PBS broadcast from the Met in the 1990's of Hildegard Behrens and the then very unthin Deborah Voigt.

I used it in my German IV  classes.  In any case, the first time I became acquainted with the work, it struck me as possessing a mistake in dramaturgy.

The "mistake" is the return of Aegisthes very near the end: it is not so much that he returns near the end, since the action needs him to get inside the palace.

The mistake is that he is portrayed as comic relief.  Drunk, he is led inside by Elektra through a series of nudge-nudge wink-wink lines to be executed.

Given that there has been a hint of stepfatherly sexual abuse in Elektra's description of her life under the same roof with Aegisthes, one would think that any scene between them would not be one of comic relief!

Strauss' music, however, becomes all too comical at this section: neither he nor Hofmannsthal saw anything wrong here with comic relief so near the end.

I believe it impedes the dramatic dynamism, the inexorable bloodlust building up throughout the action: everything comes screeching to a halt while Aegisthes stumbles around and listens to Elektra's double entendres.

There!  I said  it!  And I'm glad I tell you!  Glad!!!   :o
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Lethevich

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9758
  • I spilled my drink!
  • Currently Listening to:
    Rihm, Bialas, Ballif, Schumann, Schubert
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2009, 01:39:23 PM »
We need some more Strauss talk here! Isn't it remarkable that such a major composer could have so many of his fine concertos so often overlooked? The horn concertos tend to be known simply for their choice of solo instrument, but the others (Oboe, Basson & Clarinet, Violin) are very obscure to English speakers. The violin concerto's neglect in particular is puzzling, as the general classical audience usually cannot get enough of the Romantic solo violin/orchestra combination.

Anyway, I came here with a question: how many movements (if any) does the Sinfonia Domestica have? My recording with Kempe divides it into five (with a "wiegenlied" between the scherzo and adagio), but Wikipedia suggests four, with no mention of that interleaving movement. Or perhaps the movements Wikipedia lists are just "sections", used as a guide with no intent for formal division?
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline rappy

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 413
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2009, 01:43:40 PM »
There are 5 ones:

1. Opening movement (exposition of themes)
2. Scherzo
3. Wiegenlied
4. Adagio
5. Finale

Oh yeah, the violin concerto is fantastic ! 0:)

DavidW

  • Guest
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2009, 02:13:30 PM »
A few weeks ago I watched Salome.  Some gorgeous music, but the opera itself made me feel ill at ease. :-\

Brahmsian

  • Guest
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2009, 10:08:38 AM »
A few weeks ago I watched Salome.  Some gorgeous music, but the opera itself made me feel ill at ease. :-\

What was the performance?  I watched it earlier this Spring.  It was a Royal Opera House Kultur video production, quite racy!  :o  Featured Maria Ewing, and conducted by Edward Downes
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 10:15:05 AM by Brahmsian »

DavidW

  • Guest
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2009, 10:34:04 AM »
What was the performance?  I watched it earlier this Spring.  It was a Royal Opera House Kultur video production, quite racy!  :o  Featured Maria Ewing, and conducted by Edward Downes

Malfitano, Sinopoli for me (that's what netflix had).

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 12017
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2009, 11:15:52 AM »
I have seen neither Ewing nor Malfitano (heard good comments about both), but I can heartily recommend this one, with Teresa Stratas and Astrid Varnay.  It's actually a filmed version, with the singers lip-synching, but you hardly notice once the thing gets going.

The opera definitely makes one a bit queasy, especially in a really fine production.  But I love it that Strauss used some of the most beautiful music imaginable (especially in the final half-hour) in tandem with such disgusting imagery.  (Perhaps that's why some people prefer the final scene in a concert version!  ;D)

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2009, 11:22:03 AM »
Beautiful music + disgusting imagery: the Birth of Eurotrash!

 ;D 8)

Brahmsian

  • Guest
Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2009, 11:24:03 AM »
Beautiful music + disgusting imagery: the Birth of Eurotrash!

 ;D 8)

RS would be proud of that honour, I'm sure.  ;D