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 Search Beat > The Music Beat > Classical Music > Featured Composer > Richard Strauss > Orchestral Recommendations


recommended recordings
·     Opera ·     Orchestral

Strauss: Orchestral Works / Kempe, Staatskapelle Dresden
Composer: Richard Strauss
Conductor: Rudolf Kempe
Performer: Ulf Hoelscher, Max Rostal, et al.
Ensemble: Dresden Staatskapelle
Emd/Emi Classics - #73614 / November 16, 1999

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When it comes to the music of Richard Strauss, none of the world's great orchestras has a more distinguished tradition than the Staatskapelle Dresden. As pit orchestra of the Dresden Court Opera, the Staatskapelle was involved in the premieres, between 1901 and 1911, of Feuersnot, Salome, Elektra, and Der Rosenkavalier; later, with Karl Böhm conducting, its players participated in the premiere of Daphne. Most of Strauss's major tone poems have been in the Dresden orchestra's concert...Read more


Richard Strauss in High Fidelity / Fritz Reiner, Chicago
Composer: Richard Strauss
Conductor: Fritz Reiner
Performer: Philip Farkas, John Weicher
Ensemble: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Bmg/Rca Victor - #61494 / March 9, 1993

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RCA Victor's 1954-vintage stereophony has scarcely aged, all to the better of these ageless performances, heard in their finest transfers yet. Fritz Reiner's Ein Heldenleben fuses drama, poetry, scrupulous balances, bracing rhythm, and purposeful detail into a cogent whole. Much the same holds true for Reiner's Zarathusatra from the same year. Yes, the organ is foully out-of-tune, and a few exposed tympani notes are similarly suspect. Some may prefer Reiner's less flashy, more internalized 1960 ...Read more


Strauss: Four Last Songs, etc / Karajan, Janowitz, Berlin PO
Composer: Richard Strauss
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Performer: Gundula Janowitz
Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Uni/Deutsche Grammophon - #47422 / January 23, 1996

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Gundula Janowitz had a very beautiful voice that critics like to describe as "creamy," whatever that means. Strauss had a life-long love affair with the soprano voice. He even married one--not just the voice, the whole woman, of course. His Four Last Songs constitute his dying tribute, and they are probably the most hedonistically gorgeous vocal works in existence. Herbert vo Karajan was a Strauss specialist, as was Janowitz, and together they contrive to perform the songs about as...Read more


R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite, etc / Ormandy, Davis
Composer: Richard Strauss
Conductor: Eugene Ormandy, Andrew Davis
Performer: Anshel Brusilow, Samuel Mayes, et al.
Ensemble: Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Sony Classics - #62650 / March 4, 1997

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It was inevitable that Strauss's irresistible waltzes (and other musical bits) from Der Rosenkavalier would find an existence independent of the opera; in fact, there are many listeners who prefer taking the work in conveniently small doses. Like a Viennese pastry, too much of a good thing can send you into sugar shock, and you don't have to be a musical diabetic to want to listen to "just a sliver" of Strauss's most highly caloric musical confection. Happily, Ormandy's luscious performance of...Read more



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