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CHAN 10199
(multiple CD Set)
Symphonic Poems, Vol. 1

Strauss, R: Symphonic Poems, Vol. 1

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2004

Originally recorded in 2003


Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Neeme Jarvi


Caird Hall, Dundee


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Record Label
Chandos Classics


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 137:49
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Symphonic Poems, Vol. 1

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  Symphonic Poems, Volume 1  

Ein Alpensinfonie Op.64

1 Nacht - 3:23
2 Sonnenaufgang - 1:16
3 Der Anstieg - 2:13
4 Eintritt in den Wald - 5:23
5 Am Wasserfall - 0:16
6 Erscheinung - 0:54
7 Auf blumigen Wiesen - 0:51
8 Auf der Alm - 2:03
9 Durch Dickicht und Gestrüpp aud Irrwegen - 1:28
10 Auf dem Gletscher - 0:56
11 Gefahrvolle Augenblicke - 1:28
12 Auf dem Gipfel - 4:37
13 Vision - 3:11
14 Nebel steigen auf - 0:17
15 Die Sonne verdüstert sich allmählich - 0:49
16 Elegie - 1:58
17 Stille vor dem Sturm - 3:04
18 Gewitter und Sturm, Abstieg - 3:55
19 Saonnenuntergang - 2:30
20 Ausklang - 6:18
21 Nacht 2:32

Tod und Verklärung, Op.24


Ein Heldenleben, Op.40

23 Der Held - 4:22
24 Des Helden Widersacher - 3:22
25 Des Helden Gefährtin - 12:58
26 Des Helden Walstatt 9:57
27 Des Helden Friedenswerek 6:01
28 Des Helden Weltflucht und Vollendung 9:38

Don Juan, Op.20

 Neeme Jarvi
  16 August 1989 (Tod und Verklärung), January 1987 (Eine Alpensinfonie), 8 & 9 December 1986 (Ein Heldenleben), 11 & 12 January 1987 (Don Juan)  
Volume 1 of Chandos’ important recordings of Strauss’s symphonic poems is now available on its Classics label.

Volumes 2 and 3 will be released in the next couple of months.

When first released these recordings of some of Strauss’s most important orchestral works were enthusiastically reviewed for the quality of sound and interpretation.

The recordings by Järvi and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra of Richard Strauss’s music are considered by many to be top choice for the repertoire.

Strauss’s Eine Alpensinfonie is scored for enormous forces, requiring an orchestra of over 150 players, including twenty horns and quadruple woodwind. Each of the work’s twenty-one linked sections has a title describing an event in the twenty-four hours in the mountains covered by the symphony. The work was completed in 1915 and first performed, under the composer’s direction, in Berlin on 25 October of that year. ‘It really is quite a good piece!’ he remarked afterwards.

Strauss wrote that Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration) represented the death of an artist who had striven for the highest ideals. As the artist sleeps in his bed, he smiles at agreeable dreams. He wakes and is racked with pain. As his limbs shake with fever he recalls his childhood, his endeavours, his passions and the elusive ideal he has tried to represent through art. The hour of death approaches. As the artist’s soul leaves his body, he finds that the perfection for which he has always struggled exists in the most glorious form in the eternal cosmos. Tod und Verklärung is one of the composer’s seminal works and we can deduce its importance to him by the number of times he quoted from it in later works.

Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) is in one continuous movement – a vast sonata-form structure, which is divided into six sections. The work portrays the life of a composer who adores his capricious and captivating wife and whose ‘adversaries’ are music critics.

Strauss’s magnificent series of tone-poems was launched in public by Don Juan in 1889. With this concise masterpiece, he put himself at the head of the post-Wagner generation of German composers.

'The production is superb - and the performances range from the acceptable ( a rather portly Don Juan) to the first-rate (the tough hard-hitting Death and Transfiguration, the massive if slightly brutal Alpensinfonie) to the exceptional - the succulent, and surprisingly tender Ein Heldenleben.'
International Record Review

'The performances are good, the sonics excellent, voluminous notes are included, and the Scottish orchestra's playing is on a high level. There's no question that the release offers good value for money.'
American Record Guide

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