Author Topic: Richard Strauss's house  (Read 91945 times)

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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #660 on: September 12, 2019, 12:37:05 AM »
Mehta’s Berliner Phil is one of my favourite versions. I look forward to read your opinion on all these recordings !!

I still have to track that down. Mehta's LA recording certainly disappointed me and wasn't at all as I often found it described (i.e. hyper-romantic).

Offline Andy D.

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #661 on: September 12, 2019, 01:41:40 AM »
For those that I don't get a review in on ClassicsToday (or where my opinion differs too wildly from the ClassicsToday opinion), that's a good idea! I've always loved that work and never quite understood it being pooh-poohed.


It mostly got bad reviews for the inclusion of the wind machine and fx in general. Many critics back then weren't wild about film music (then in its infancy), and more than a little of Eine Alpensinfonie could have made it as a film score.

As a composer I must strongly vouch for not just the composition itself but for some of the most brilliant orchestration in art music history, period. I have used the book score umpteen times for help with my orchestrations...at least as much as I've used Mahler's symphonies (and Bernard Herrmann's best scores) for guidance in that area.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #662 on: September 12, 2019, 09:19:40 AM »
I still have to track that down. Mehta's LA recording certainly disappointed me and wasn't at all as I often found it described (i.e. hyper-romantic).

I rather like those early/LAPO/Mehta discs.  When he could still summon up enthusiasm for repertoire.  The Decca engineering is pretty 'glorious technicolour' too - spotlit bass trombones blaring their way through the big "vision" climax - what's not to love.  Like his "Domestica" from this set too.  The Sony/BPO remakes are superbly played and well engineered but all a bit urbane for me.  Can be found in one of those cheap as chips Sony box sets where they are tremendous value


Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #663 on: September 12, 2019, 12:45:55 PM »
I rather like those early/LAPO/Mehta discs.  When he could still summon up enthusiasm for repertoire.  The Decca engineering is pretty 'glorious technicolour' too - spotlit bass trombones blaring their way through the big "vision" climax - what's not to love.  Like his "Domestica" from this set too.  The Sony/BPO remakes are superbly played and well engineered but all a bit urbane for me.  Can be found in one of those cheap as chips Sony box sets where they are tremendous value


I was looking into that box - it's almost cheaper than a used copy of the Berlin Alpensinfonie.

Listen, if you find the time, to the LA version again... and tell me if I'm wrong (or right). I found it very much NOT glorious or super-sonic-spectacular but rather underplayed. (Certainly coming off Previn/Philadelphia. And certainly until "Summit" - at which it gets better.)

Or need I just listen to it with the volume turned up a LOT more?

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #664 on: March 31, 2020, 03:31:28 PM »
Well, I've hardly heard any of Richard Strauss's works, but all those I have heard I've loved. I'd like to expand my Strauss collection beyond the three CDs I have: Reiner conducting Zarathustra & Heldenleben, Karajan conducting Metamorphosen & Tod und Verklärung w/ Gundula Janowitz singing the Four Last Songs, and another Four Last Songs w/ Jessye Norman. My favorite of the three would have to be the Karajan, though the Reiner is damn good too (and GREAT sound for the time).

Are there any Strauss recordings that you, good people of GMG, deem essential listening? I'm thinking of getting into the operas, too, as it seems Strauss' major mark on music was in the world of opera. The ones I'm most interested in are Salome, Elektra, & Rosenkavalier (which I guess are the "big" ones). But I'm curious to hear more of the tone poems, concertos, and anything else.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Offline Daverz

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #665 on: March 31, 2020, 04:59:22 PM »
Well, I've hardly heard any of Richard Strauss's works, but all those I have heard I've loved. I'd like to expand my Strauss collection beyond the three CDs I have: Reiner conducting Zarathustra & Heldenleben, Karajan conducting Metamorphosen & Tod und Verklärung w/ Gundula Janowitz singing the Four Last Songs, and another Four Last Songs w/ Jessye Norman. My favorite of the three would have to be the Karajan, though the Reiner is damn good too (and GREAT sound for the time).

Are there any Strauss recordings that you, good people of GMG, deem essential listening? I'm thinking of getting into the operas, too, as it seems Strauss' major mark on music was in the world of opera. The ones I'm most interested in are Salome, Elektra, & Rosenkavalier (which I guess are the "big" ones). But I'm curious to hear more of the tone poems, concertos, and anything else.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Elektra - Solti/Decca
Also Sprach Zarathustra - Mehta/LAPO
Ein Heldenleben - Ludwig/LSO
Don Quixote - Tortelier/Kempe/Dresden; Fournier/Karajan
Ein Alpensinfonie - Shipway

Orchestral Music - Kempe/Warner box


Offline André

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #666 on: March 31, 2020, 05:02:37 PM »
Don Quixote is definitely one to get acquainted with asap. It’s the most refined of Strauss’ big orchestral machines.

Offline JBS

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #667 on: March 31, 2020, 05:23:28 PM »
On a completely different tangent:

Does anyone know if either Strauss or Hofmannsthal had any acquaintance with either Wagner's Die Feen or the two plays by Carlo Gozzi which served as the source for Wagner's libretto?

Die Feen's story has elements that are both like and unlike the story of Die Frau ohne Schatten. A fairy princess marries a human against her father's wishes. The father, the Fairy King, issues a decree that threatens one of the newlyweds with become a stone statue if a condition is not met, and the condition involves the princess becoming human.  Two fairies plot to ensure the princess does not become human. The condition is not met, and the surviving spouse must rescue the other from being a statue forever.

The differences are important; it is the princess who is turned to stone, the two fairies are much more benign than the Nurse in DFoS,  the condition does not involve being fertile (in fact, the couple have children), the situation is resolved by the human spouse becoming a fairy. And most important, there is no analogue in Wagner's story to Barak the Dyer and his wife.

Still, there are enough similarities to make me wonder...

BTW, the Fairy King's original demand also appears in Lohengrin; the human spouse is forbidden to ask his wife's name.

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Offline André

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #668 on: March 31, 2020, 05:27:27 PM »
On a completely different tangent:

Does anyone know if either Strauss or Hofmannsthal had any acquaintance with either Wagner's Die Feen or the two plays by Carlo Gozzi which served as the source for Wagner's libretto?

Die Feen's story has elements that are both like and unlike the story of Die Frau ohne Schatten. A fairy princess marries a human against her father's wishes. The father, the Fairy King, issues a decree that threatens one of the newlyweds with become a stone statue if a condition is not met, and the condition involves the princess becoming human.  Two fairies plot to ensure the princess does not become human. The condition is not met, and the surviving spouse must rescue the other from being a statue forever.

The differences are important; it is the princess who is turned to stone, the two fairies are much more benign than the Nurse in DFoS,  the condition does not involve being fertile (in fact, the couple have children), the situation is resolved by the human spouse becoming a fairy. And most important, there is no analogue in Wagner's story to Barak the Dyer and his wife.

Still, there are enough similarities to make me wonder...

BTW, the Fairy King's original demand also appears in Lohengrin; the human spouse is forbidden to ask his wife's name.

You seem to have hit a point here. I found a connection hinted at in this article (last paragraph esp.):
http://www.chelseaoperagroup.org.uk/Operas/Mar%202013.htm

Offline JBS

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #669 on: March 31, 2020, 05:47:46 PM »
You seem to have hit a point here. I found a connection hinted at in this article (last paragraph esp.):
http://www.chelseaoperagroup.org.uk/Operas/Mar%202013.htm


Thanks!

The tracklist/credits for the recording of Die Feen I have (Frankfurt Oper on Oehms) list two Gozzi plays, the other being Il Corvo.

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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #670 on: March 31, 2020, 11:50:31 PM »
Well, I've hardly heard any of Richard Strauss's works, but all those I have heard I've loved. I'd like to expand my Strauss collection beyond the three CDs I have: Reiner conducting Zarathustra & Heldenleben, Karajan conducting Metamorphosen & Tod und Verklärung w/ Gundula Janowitz singing the Four Last Songs, and another Four Last Songs w/ Jessye Norman. My favorite of the three would have to be the Karajan, though the Reiner is damn good too (and GREAT sound for the time).

Are there any Strauss recordings that you, good people of GMG, deem essential listening? I'm thinking of getting into the operas, too, as it seems Strauss' major mark on music was in the world of opera. The ones I'm most interested in are Salome, Elektra, & Rosenkavalier (which I guess are the "big" ones). But I'm curious to hear more of the tone poems, concertos, and anything else.

Thanks in advance for any help!

The truth is so many of the classic Strauss recordings are now available in box sets where in effect you get all the major works for the equivalent price you paid for a single LP back in the day.  So







represent tremendous value without any artistic compromise (but sometimes with not much in terms of liner notes).  Of the older recordings I think anything with Szell in Cleveland on CBS/Sony is pretty stunning - but away from the big Szell sets they are still early CD masters - albeit cheap.  There are many very fine modern recordings too - orchestras can knock out technically superb Strauss seemingly at will.  One thing worth considering is a change in Straussian-style.  People like Kempe/Bohm are old-school with a more fluent less grandiose approach.  This is more in line with Strauss' own recordings.  Modern interpretation can lean towards a opulent conception.

Opera-wise again many of the great recordings can now be bought for the equivalent of pence.   The Solti/VPO Salome and Elektra are extraordinary achievements and must be heard.  Rosenkavalier is hard to get beyond Karajan/Philharmonia which is truly one of the Great Recordings of the (last) Century.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #671 on: April 01, 2020, 03:11:44 AM »
Cool, thanks, everyone. I have been looking at that Kempe/Dresden box and it probably is the way to go. But I'll check out some of the other recordings suggested too. I have heard and really loved the Solti Elektra and should probably get it on CD so I can listen while reading along with the libretto. I've been looking at the Karajan Rosenkavalier too.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #672 on: April 01, 2020, 03:23:47 AM »
Cool, thanks, everyone. I have been looking at that Kempe/Dresden box and it probably is the way to go. But I'll check out some of the other recordings suggested too. I have heard and really loved the Solti Elektra and should probably get it on CD so I can listen while reading along with the libretto. I've been looking at the Karajan Rosenkavalier too.

You might also consider Karajan's Salome with the VPO  (EMI/Warner) - stunning performance with ravishing sound, one of the best things Karajan ever did.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #673 on: April 01, 2020, 04:08:43 AM »
You might also consider Karajan's Salome with the VPO  (EMI/Warner) - stunning performance with ravishing sound, one of the best things Karajan ever did.

+1

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #674 on: April 01, 2020, 04:14:21 AM »
Hmm... Better than the (earlier?) Solti/Vienna Salome? That's the one I was looking at.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #675 on: April 01, 2020, 04:45:55 AM »
Hmm... Better than the (earlier?) Solti/Vienna Salome? That's the one I was looking at.

not better - different!

Offline Biffo

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #676 on: April 01, 2020, 05:44:09 AM »
Hmm... Better than the (earlier?) Solti/Vienna Salome? That's the one I was looking at.

I have both; I heard Solti first and it blew me away but prefer Karajan. Both are excellent.

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #677 on: April 01, 2020, 06:00:27 AM »
One caveat with the Solti is that it has one of the ugliest covers ever devised...  ::)


How Herod would have wanted Mme. Nilsson to dance for him defies the imagination...
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #678 on: April 01, 2020, 06:02:20 AM »
How Herod would have wanted Mme. Nilsson to dance for him defies the imagination...

You never know with these perverts.  ;D
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline Biffo

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Re: Richard Strauss's house
« Reply #679 on: April 01, 2020, 06:08:31 AM »
One caveat with the Solti is that it has one of the ugliest covers ever devised...  ::)


How Herod would have wanted Mme. Nilsson to dance for him defies the imagination...

That is one advantage with the CD issue - the cover is quite small.