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Thread: BaL 22.01.11 - Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie

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  1. #1
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    Default BaL 22.01.11 - Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie

    22nd January, 2011

    Am I the happiest, most excited poster on this forum? Quite possibly.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00xmv0n

    I first heard Eine Alpensinfonie conducted by Bohm on a Heliodor LP, but this was superceded shortly afterwards by the RPO Kempe. With a work that was rarely played. few recordings and the pocket score out of print, it could be assumed that there was little interest in this work. It was generally slammed by critics as "over-inflated" and "banal", but more and more recordings were issued over the years.

    My unfavourites are Dresden/Kempe (wobbly horns) and BPO/Karajan (intonation and aggressive recording).

    My favourites are RPO/Kempe and VPO/Previn.

    But I'm drooling in anticipation...
    Last edited by Eine Alpensinfonie; 29-08-12 at 19:14.

  2. #2
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    I was expecting this post soon - and you don't disappoint! Enjoy. as they annoyingly keep telling you these days.

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    The last time this was done on BaL the Karajan came out on top. It is wonderfully played of course (just listen to those horns as they hurl out the Bruch Violin Concerto theme as the summit is reached) and I'm not quite as troubled by the sound as EA is. The magical epilogue is superbly realised in Karajan's recording. I am not as troubled either by the wobbly horns in the Dresden/Kempe recording.

    Agree about the VPO/Previn which is a much underrated disc but the RPO/Kempe is in a class apart and is easily my own top choice. It's wonderful that Testament have restored this version to circulation. I am less enraptured by the LSO/Haitink than some but concede that it has to be a major contender in what is now an increasingly crowded field. Other ones in my collection are from Antoni Wit and Horst Stein (both very good), Ozawa (can't get on with this one), Haitink again (in 1985, nothing flash here and all the better for it), Thielemann (like this as well), Jansons (both the Concertgebouw and BBC Welsh discs, again both fine) and last but not least, the composer himself in obviously limited 1941 sonics.

    There are some terrific performances here but definitely RPO/Kempe for me. His Straussian credentials are better than anyone bar Karajan and it shows in this riveting performance happily recorded in glorious sound.
    Last edited by Petrushka; 16-01-11 at 13:04. Reason: tidying up
    “Every piece of music is a rehearsal of one’s life,” - Sir Colin Davis

  4. #4
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    I think I once had it by Reiner. Or was it a dream?

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    Verismissimo, it may well have been a dream. This was the one Strauss tone poem of which Reiner had a very low opinion. I'm almost certain he didn't record it.

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    For many years it wasn't even considered to be one of the tone poems. You still occasionally catch Ein Heldenleben being called the last one Strauss composed. Reiner's view was by no means unusual at that time and it wasn't really until Karajan's advocacy in the early 1980's that the recording floodgates suddenly opened.
    “Every piece of music is a rehearsal of one’s life,” - Sir Colin Davis

  7. #7
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    I very much enjoyed the performance in the 2009 Proms by Staatskapelle Dresden, conducted by Fabio Luisi. I don’t know the work at all well but I thought this performance created a wonderful atmosphere for the occasion. Or it may have been the other way round. Either way, I thought it was a memorable performance.

  8. #8
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    A piece I know very little of and need to know better, I think I have a recording by zinman out of a box set of orchestral works, sounds ok but again, don't really know the work... Yet!

    I would like to hear it live before listening to it on record, get to know it bests then!

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    A difficult choice. Having said that, I've only got three versions - Haitink, Wit and Dresden/Kempe. I suppose, of the three, Haitink is the one I'd least happily be without. And it has the best cover!

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    Judging a book by it's cover
    Music is in the air all around you. You just take of it as much as you want(Sir Edward Elgar)

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