The tone poems of Richard Strauss's early career represent a remarkable extension of the ideas of Liszt and Wagner, and the autobiographical Ein Heldenleben exceeds its predecessors in terms of its demands on the orchestra. Its intricately interwoven sections create a single symphonic movement depicting heroism, love, and ultimately peace.
Saving the best for last in the Richard Strauss anniversary 2014. The world’s most luxurious soprano, Anna Netrebko, sings Richard Strauss’ sumptuous Four Last Songs, accompanied by the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim. An irresistible, all-star combination.
Donald Runnicles is a highly successful Scottish conductor who mostly worked in opera houses until the 1990s, the decade he successfully branched out into the concert hall. He has generally divided his career equally between operatic and symphonic conducting since. Though he has worked extensively in the U.K. and Germany, he may be better known for his activity in the U.S. as conductor of the San Francisco Opera (since 1992), as principal guest conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and for his many popular recordings on the American label Telarc…
"…Karajan isn't performing the work: he's living it. The sweep and swagger of the opening theme, the imperious power of the battle music, the expansive monumentality of the closing pages: this isn't an act for Karajan; this is life itself. (…) anyone who loves either Ein Heldenleben or Der Helden Karajan who doesn't already know this recording is urged to check it out." 4,5/5 ~AMG
Blomstedt’s singular view of Also sprach Zarathustra reflects his deep knowledge of and experience with the piece… The San Francisco Symphony plays masterfully, its characteristic warm sound allied with a virtuoso polish that nonetheless conveys a sense of discovery… Blomstedt’s Ein Heldenleben is one of the most beautifully rendered performances on disc.- Victor Carr Jr.