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Thread: Strauss Tone Poems Recordings

  1. #166
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    I heard a good "Tod und Verklarung" - Celibidache/MunichPO...
    Live performance, well done...Celi achieved generally good flow and drama, good attention to detail (always desirable with R. Strauss). His "Death" isn't quite the relentless savage beast depicted by Reiner, but still had plenty of power...the loud parts well defined, without smudging or covering important entrances. After death claims its victim, the Transfiguration music was perhaps too slow...things bogged down a bit...also..too loud in the accompaniment- the sustained notes, esp in horns, tended to cover up the low register, soft entrances of the gradually building climax...remember, this was live performance, so recording balances sometimes go astray...final climax was very good...powerful and well-executed..
    Excellent recording, not quite up to Reiner's stunning winners with RCASO and VPO, but still highly recommended.

  2. #167
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    For the Four Last Songs in modern sound I’ll go with Popp/Tennstedt or Masur/Norman. I know this may be heresy, but I’ve never warmed to Janowitz or Schwarzkopf. In fact, the Norman performance is, IMO, some of the most glorious singing ever recorded and Masur outdoes himself. Wonderful!
    Last edited by Gray Bean; May-27-2020 at 20:21.

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  4. #168
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    For the Four Last Songs it’s Norman/Masur for me. Thrilling, soaring, heartbreaking, autumnal. I also enjoy Schwarzkopf/Szell and the newest release by Lise Davidsen for her incredibly powerful voice. I don’t speak German so I can’t comment on being sensitive to the text, etc. I like Janowitz’s voice a lot but as others have mentioned the smallest something seems missing from that performance.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe." - Douglas Adams

  5. #169
    Senior Member Simplicissimus's Avatar
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    For the Vierte Letzte Lieder, my favorite is Lisa Della Casa with Böhm/VPO. It’s sweet, melancholy, but not overly dramatic. The new Lise Davidsen recording that I’ve been listening to on streaming has incredible sound, but I find it too operatic and almost OTT. I’m very curious about the Sawallisch/Philadelphia 1996 recording with Barbara Hendricks, but I haven’t been able to listen to it... not available on my service. I might need to buy the CD, which would plus up my pretty good collection of Sawallisch doing Strauss.
    Last edited by Simplicissimus; May-28-2020 at 05:32.

  6. #170
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    I've been listening to Strauss operas lately, though only concentrating on widely recommended versions as I don't have the time for a complete survey.

    I loved the Della Casa/Solti Arabella and purchased it immediately upon hearing it online. Karajan's 1954 Ariadne auf Naxos with Schwarzkopf/Seefried/Streich is one I've owned for awhile, and it is exquisitely beautiful. Reining/Seefried/Bohm from 1944 is also very good, boasting an excellent cast. Something about this opera makes me think of Meistersinger.

    I finally purchased a pair of famous Nilsson/Solti recordings: Elektra and Salome. Both are electric. I also like the Borkh/Mitropoulos Elektra, a live 1958 performance from Salzburg. The Salome from Behrens/Karajan had nice moments, but I prefer Caballe/Leinsdorf as the proverbial silkier, sensual alternative to the Solti.

    However, the opera recording that most blew me away was the Lyuba Welitsch/Reiner live Salome at the Met from 1949. This is just riveting from beginning to end, transcending the obvious shortcomings of the recording quality. A great performance.

    I plan on listening to Capriccio (Schwarzkopf/Sawallisch) and Die Frau ohne Schatten (Bohm '55 and Solti) before the week's end, and then I'll end with the three acclaimed Rosenkavaliers on my shelf - Lehmann/Schumann/Heger, Reining/Jurinac/Kleiber, and Schwarzkopf/Ludwig/Karajan.

    At that point I think I will have tapped out on Strauss for the time being!
    Last edited by Brahmsianhorn; Jun-03-2020 at 06:28.

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  8. #171
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Karajan's 1954 Ariadne auf Naxos with Schwarzkopf/Seefried/Streich is one I've owned for awhile, and it is exquisitely beautiful.
    I love Seefried and Streich in this (and Karajan's conducting), but I have a Schwarzkopf allergy, and find Schock's squeezed production rather unpleasant here. I'm much happier with the Kempe recording as a complete performance.

    I finally purchased a pair of famous Nilsson/Solti recordings: Elektra and Salome. Both are electric.
    Solti's Salome is over the top, which works for this opera. I've never quite gotten a handle on Elektra, which always strikes me as 90 or so minutes of screaming.

    T
    he Salome from Behrens/Karajan had nice moments, but I prefer Caballe/Leinsdorf as the proverbial silkier, sensual alternative to the Solti.
    Those are two of my favorites, along with Sinopoli's, which features Studer and Terfel early in their primes.

    However, the opera recording that most blew me away was the Lyuba Welitsch/Reiner live Salome at the Met from 1949. This is just riveting from beginning to end, transcending the obvious shortcomings of the recording quality. A great performance.
    You should certainly listen to this. I believe that it's from a radio broadcast with von Matacic conducting, in 1944:

    Last edited by wkasimer; Jun-03-2020 at 14:20.

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  10. #172
    Senior Member Simplicissimus's Avatar
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    ^ Haha, I like that description of Elektra, it is my take on it exactly. Of Strauss’s operas that I know pretty well, I do like Ariadne auf Naxos, der Rosenkavalier, die Frau ohne Schatten, Salome, Arabella, and Intermezzo.

    I have to assume that Ariadne auf Naxos is a popular opera based on how many good recordings of it are readily available. I have one CD recording of Ariadne auf Naxos in my collection, which I acquired after consideration of a number of performances. I am very happy with it and commend it to anyone who likes this opera. Edita Gruberova and Walter Berry are wonderful. I tend to like Sawallisch’s versions of Strauss operas.

    Ariadne auf Naxos Front.jpg
    Ariadne auf Naxos Back.jpg
    Last edited by Simplicissimus; Jun-03-2020 at 20:09.

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  12. #173
    Senior Member geralmar's Avatar
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    Not a recommendation; but a spectacular wallow:


    1983

    I played it at my house warming (condominium, actually) until a guest asked that I turn it down.


    My "imprint" is the 1964 Ormandy, which I thought Kubrick should have used in "2001" instead of the Karajan/VPO. I've grown up since then.



    A local AM radio station used "Sunrise" as its midnight sign off theme, which is how I discovered the work. It was infrequent on records until used in "2001".
    Last edited by geralmar; Jun-05-2020 at 01:46.

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  14. #174
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    I love Seefried and Streich in this (and Karajan's conducting), but I have a Schwarzkopf allergy, and find Schock's squeezed production rather unpleasant here. I'm much happier with the Kempe recording as a complete performance.
    I really wish you would stop this. I listened to the Kempe Ariadne last night and absolutely loved it. I am purchasing way too much Strauss now. At this rate my stimulus check will be all spent by the end of the summer.

  15. #175
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    I really wish you would stop this. I listened to the Kempe Ariadne last night and absolutely loved it.
    While there are things that I like better on other recordings - e.g. Heppner's Bacchus, the Ariadnes of Norman, Tomowa-Sintow, and Margaret Price - the Kempe is, for me, the best complete performance on record.

  16. #176
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    I have the Kempe complete Strauss orchestral set arriving on Wednesday. Fingers crossed for excellence.

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  18. #177
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Al View Post
    I have the Kempe complete Strauss orchestral set arriving on Wednesday. Fingers crossed for excellence.
    It's some of the best Strauss available!
    FYI, it's not quite the complete orchestra music by Strauss, but it's close.

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  20. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Al View Post
    I have the Kempe complete Strauss orchestral set arriving on Wednesday. Fingers crossed for excellence.
    I received my copy last week. You won't be disappointed. I also have the Zinman, Tonhalle Orchestra so called complete recording along with others.

    "Solti's Salome is over the top, which works for this opera. I've never quite gotten a handle on Elektra, which always strikes me as 90 or so minutes of screaming."

    I think the Ozawa BSO recording cover art matches your description.


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  22. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Al View Post
    I have the Kempe complete Strauss orchestral set arriving on Wednesday. Fingers crossed for excellence.
    You’ll enjoy the Kemp’s. It’s been in my library for years.

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  24. #180
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    With the exception of Daphne, I've managed to get through hearing enough Strauss operas now to call it a year.

    The 1955 Bohm Die Frau ohne Schatten on Decca is one of the best Strauss opera recordings I've heard, vividly recorded and inspired such that it sounds like a live performance. Rysanek and Schoffler are standouts among the stellar cast. This really is one to live with, but it's such a great opera that I made room on my shelf also for the live Karajan from 1964 and the Solti, both bringing plenty of beauty and excitement, Karajan with the better cast and Solti the most ideal sound. I stopped short of purchasing the Sawallisch, but that one is also very recommendable, a little more subdued but very beautiful.

    Then I came to Der Rosenkavalier. I started with the obvious, Schwarzkopf/Karajan. It is a very beautiful recording, particularly in the final trio. I do think it is a bit overrated, a bit too smooth and subdued for such a light and engaging opera, but the singing is great. I have both the stereo and mono and have to admit I prefer the extra vividness of the voices of the mono. Kleiber features just as recommendable a cast, but there is more energy from the conductor which worked better for me. Even better is a hard to find live 1956 Kempe featuring an ideal cast of Della Casa-Stevens-Guden-Edelmann. The 1930s Lehmann/Schumann conducted by Heger includes barely half the opera, but it is a valuable document of creamy, golden age Strauss singing.

    I mentioned the Nilsson/Solti Elektra earlier. As good as it is, it is far from the final word and I ended up burning another hole in my pocket book. Pauly/Rodzinski from the 30s will arrive hopefully soon. I have only been able to sample excerpts, but Rose Pauly sounds like she was to Elektra what Lyuba Welitsch was to Salome, just incredibly fierce and vocally unhinged (in a good way). I have a couple of Inge Borkhs, and I can't decide which I like best. The studio recording with Bohm is in my view by the narrowest of margins preferable to the Nilsson/Solti as a modern sound performance to live with. There is a greater fullness in both Borkh's voice and Bohm's orchestral contribution, even if it doesn't have the accented sharpness of Solti. And Bohm also has Fischer-Dieskau's fantastic Orest. However, the best Orest I heard was Hotter in what is maybe my favorite Elektra now, the 1953 Kraus with Astrid Varnay an astounding full-bodied Elektra, with seemingly no limit to her vocal power. Finally, the second of my Borkhs is the live 1957 Salzburg conducted by Mitropolous. The distant recording is a minus, but she is in better voice and the conducting is, pardon the pun, electric.

    Whew! That's a lot of Strauss. I'll give a listen to the Reining/Bohm and Guden/Bohm Daphne's and then hopefully find a new hobby. Thanks OP for getting me onto this!

    I relistened to my playlist of the orchestral works, and this is my current top 10 Strauss orchestral recordings (among those in decent sound):

    1. Tod und Verklarung - Karajan 70s
    2. Metamorphosen - Klemperer
    3. Till Eulenspiegel - Furtwangler (EMI)
    4. Don Quixote - Fournier/Krauss
    5. Eine Alpensinfonie - Kempe
    6. Ein Heldenleben - Ormandy
    7. Also sprach Zarathustra - Karajan 70s
    8. Tod und Verklarung - Szell
    9. Sinfonia domestica - Reiner
    10. Don Juan - Szell

    Honorable mention: Don Quixote - Fournier/Szell, Ein Heldenleben - Karajan (EMI), Tod und Verklarung - Furtwangler, Metamorphosen - Kempe/Karajan 70s, Sinfonia domestica - Szell/Karajan (EMI)

    .
    Last edited by Brahmsianhorn; Jun-20-2020 at 18:26.

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