It is surely a natural combination of talents to have Gustavo Dudamel interpret the tone poems of Richard Strauss with the Berlin Philharmonic, but it is still a major coup, no matter how obvious the idea seems on its face. The live recordings of Also sprach Zarathustra, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, and Don Juan on this 2013 release from Deutsche Grammophon are a true feast for the ears, and the marvelous sonorities and myriad details in Strauss' dense but transparent scores are all on display here. Dudamel is one of the finest shapers of an orchestra's sound, and his expert handling of nuanced timbres and subtle dynamics is everywhere apparent in Also sprach Zarathustra. However, if Till Eulenspiegel or Don Juan are overly familiarRead more to jaded listeners, Dudamel makes them seem just as clear and fresh as Also sprach Zarathustra, and the orchestral colors pop with astonishing vividness and stand out with distinctive presence. While some may discount high praise for this album as hype, hearing it will convince even the most jaundiced skeptic, especially after feeling this CD's irresistable pull and listening to it in one rapt sitting. Dudamel has shown abundant promise in all of his recordings to date, but this Strauss album puts him among the great conductors of our time, without the slightest doubt.
Finally got itNovember 11, 2013By Linda R. (Redan, Victoria)See All My Reviews"This has been a favourite piece of music long before it became a coffee ad in Australia. This is me substituting vinyl for a Cd. Vinyl played only on the most special of occasions."Report Abuse
SpectacularOctober 15, 2013By William C. (San Francisco, CA)See All My Reviews"Sound quality is spectacular. I love Dudamel's verve conducting and interpreting - almost as much as Michael Tilsen Thomas of the SFO. Only small complaint is his lack of sustaining the organ chord after the opening blasts. (laugh)"Report Abuse
Good not GreatOctober 12, 2013By Joseph Lieber, MD (Great Neck, NY)See All My Reviews"Was looking forward to masterful performances from a top notch orchestra and a conducting sensation. All the notes are there and the palying is lush. However, this disc just doesn't have anything over the many other performances of these works, especially the Also Sprach Zarathustra. If you want good performace of these works you won't go wrong. But with so many other choices out there this just can't float to the top."Report Abuse