This release inaugurated a new association between Avie, the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln and their Music Director Semyon Bychkov. This studio recording follows over 40 performances of these two seminal Strauss works by Bychkov and the Orchestra, over which time they have developed a definitive collective conviction with which to tell the story of this music. Their London performance of Ein Heldenleben in May 2000 was described by The Guardian as “supremely sumptuous, full of cocksure bravado, cannily sexy … and gloriously played throughout.” In addition, Bychkov and the Orchestra toured the work in Japan, Europe and the United States before committing it to disc.
"...There is so much more to enjoy here than many of the high profile, virtuoso run-throughs we have had to get used to. It is deeply felt playing, guided by a conductor whose searing musical vision and love of the pieces shines through every phrase. Even if you have other versions of these glorious works (as any Straussian will have), you will not regret getting this one."