This is the best recording of Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony.
It is a stunning piece of music–an auditory journey up an alpine mountain, complete with sunrise and sunset, and even an impressive, powerful mountain storm.
Karajan was a great Straussian, and this collection, produced by John Culshaw in 1959-60, with the VPO (especially the strings) in superb form, shows him at his most charismatic. Also sprach Zarathustra was a famous early Decca stereo demonstration record, and remains as spectacular as ever. The many-faceted portrait of Till is delectably witty, Don Juan is exciting, racy, and full of sensuality, which is voluptuously shared by the dramatic and sinuous 'Salome's dance'. The transfers undoubtedly recreate the sonic excitement of the originals.
Ivan March, Gramophone
These recordings were made by Erato shortly before Barenboim took over as musical director at Chicago and were hailed at the time as the best possible foretaste of the partnership. Until recently they were available on Warner’s mid-price Elatus label but, despite the strong recommendations which they received in that form, such is the economic pressure of the times that they have now been further reduced to the budget-price Apex label.
2014 marks a year of celebration recognizing the 150th birthday year of the German late-Romantic orchestral, operatic and lied master composer, Richard Strauss (1864-1949). Arabella (premiered 1933, Dresden) was the last of the half dozen Strauss works to feature a libretto by the great Austrian writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal. This production, from the most recent Salzburg Easter Festival is, after Capriccio, the second of three Richard Strauss operas C Major is releasing in honor of the composers birth, life and work. The star-laden cast includes soprano Renèe Fleming, baritone Thomas Hampson, Albert Dohmen (Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, MET) and Gabriela Beaková (Wiener Staatsoper, Covent Garden). With Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden, the music of Richard Strauss is in the best of hands. (ORF) Thielemann gets the best out of the cast…especially Renée Fleming with her luxurious soprano.
“Kurt Rydl crowns a fine stage career with a gloriously eccentric impersonation of La Roche…The singing honours belong entirely to Angelika Kirchschlager as Clairon.” (BBC Music Magazine). “this Countess's preference for 'Ton' over 'Wort' is clear from the start…The greatest pleasure of the performance, for me, undoubtedly comes in the wonderful playing of the Staatsoper orchestra, the sweet, tender strings and the mellifluous horns in particular; and Christoph Eschenbach conducts a leisurely and loving account of Strauss's gorgeous score.” (Gramophone Magazine)
This is the 1990 EMI Angel release 'Richard Strauss - Hornkonzerte' played by English Chamber Orchestra led by Jeffrey Tate and featuring soloists Radovan Vlatkovic (horn) and Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano).
The other major orchestral release here features the Richard Strauss recordings conducted for Sony Classical by Zubin Mehta.