Solti: Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben, Eine Alpensinfonie, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel (2 CD, APE)
Solti: Strauss – Also Sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben, Eine Alpensinfonie, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel (2 CD, APE)

Composer: Richard Strauss
Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Georg Solti
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Decca
Size: 653 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01
Ein Heldenleben, op.40
01. Ein Heldenleben, op.40 The Hero
02. Ein Heldenleben, op.40 The Hero’s enemies
03. Ein Heldenleben, op.40 The Hero’s companion
04. Ein Heldenleben, op.40 The Hero’s deeds of war
05. Ein Heldenleben, op.40 The Hero’s works of peace
06. Ein Heldenleben, op.40 The Hero’s retirement from the world

Also sprach Zarathustra, op.30
07. Also sprach Zarathustra, op.30 Introduction
08. Also sprach Zarathustra, op.30 Of the backworldsmen
09. Also sprach Zarathustra, op.30 Of the great longing
10. Also sprach Zarathustra, op.30 Of joys and passions
11. Also sprach Zarathustra, op.30 Dirge
12. Also sprach Zarathustra, op.30 Of science
13. Also sprach Zarathustra, op.30 The convalescent
14. Also sprach Zarathustra, op.30 Dance song
15. Also sprach Zarathustra, op.30 Night-wanderer’s song

CD 02
01. Don Juan, op.20

02. Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, op.28

Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64
03. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Night
04. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Sunrise
05. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 The ascent
06. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Entry into the wood – Wandering by the brook
07. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 At the waterfall
08. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Apparition
09. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 On flowering meadows
10. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 On Alpine pasture
11. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Lost in thicket and undergrowth
12. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 On the glacier
13. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Dangerous moments – On the summit
14. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Vision
15. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Mists rise
16. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 The sun is gradually obscured
17. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Elegy
18. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Calm before the storm
19. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Thunder and tempest, descent
20. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Sunset
21. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Fading tones
22. Eine Alpensinfonie, op.64 Night

Extrovert Strauss: Prepare to be Blown Away

This economical double-pack provides an excellent sampler of Strauss’s orchestral music for the beginner, as well as affording a distinctive take on the composer for veteran collectors who enjoy comparing diverse interpretations by famous conductors. Predictably, Solti’s take on Strauss is extrovert, dynamic, and disciplined. For some (admirers of Karajan and Ormandy, for instance) this approach won’t be sufficiently opulent; for others (admirers of Kempe, for instance), it won’t be sufficiently nuanced or lyrical. Suffice it to say that if you enjoy Szell’s crisp clarity in Strauss and Reiner’s electric brilliance, you will probably like Solti, whose distinctive style combines both of these attributes.

Three different orchestras are represented here, and they make for fascinating comparisons. Solti and the CSO had a strong, symbiotic relationship; they brought out the very best in each other, and it shows here: *Zarathustra,* *Till Eulenspiegel* and *Don Juan* receive stunning performances that will sweep you away. Jaw-dropping virtuosity from all departments of this great orchestra, captured in viscerally exciting sound by the Decca engineers. In these respects, it would be hard to surpass Solti (even if I would place Szell just slightly ahead of Solti for his greater wit and wisdom in the two shorter works).


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