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Strauss: Don Juan, Etc / Frühbeck De Burgos, Bohorquez, Etc


Release Date: 09/05/2006 
Label:  Berlin Classics   Catalog #: 1768   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christina BiwankClaudio Bohorquez
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



R. STRAUSS Don Juan. Till Eulenspiegels lustige streiche. Don Quixote 1 Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, cond; Claudio Bohórquez (vc); 1 Christina Biwank (va); 1 Dresden PO BERLIN 17682 (77:40)


It is a pleasure to listen to this fine orchestra in this repertoire. For starters, they are beautifully balanced by both the conductor and the recording engineers. Read more The burnished tone of the horn section, the sweetness and power of the violins, the balance between orchestra and soloists in Don Quixote : all these aspects are a delight. It was in Dresden—although not with this band—that Rudolf Kempe made his highly regarded recordings of Richard Strauss’s orchestral works, and today’s Philharmonic is as fully conversant with the plush, late-Romantic idiom as was Kempe’s Staatskapelle. The three tone poems on this CD are probably Strauss’s most popular, or if not, are certainly his most accessible. Timewise, the disc is well filled. All this adds up to a pretty firm recommendation.


However, it must be said that there is a lot of competition in this music. A possible downside of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos’s comfortable mastery on the podium is a lack of urgency, especially in the shorter pieces. While it is good to be reminded that Don Juan (aka Giovanni) is, after all, a member of the aristocracy who doesn’t necessarily sprint from one assignation to the next, there is no excuse for a laid-back Till . Comparing timings with a performance pulled at random from the shelves (the younger Karajan with the Philharmonia on EMI), I found Frühbeck de Burgos adds 30 seconds in Till Eulenspiegel and 55 seconds in Don Juan ; a significant broadening in works that last around 15 and 18 minutes respectively.


With Don Quixote , tardiness is less of an issue, and in places may constitute an advantage. Frühbeck de Burgos’s measured pace allows him to make something monumental out of the windmill variation; I have never heard its textures so beautifully laid out. In this work, the competition involves most of the world’s great cellists. Claudio Bohórquez (of Peruvian parentage and resident in Germany) is technically secure and thoughtful, but perhaps not yet experienced enough to project a distinctive character. The cello personifies the Don, a fact made abundantly clear by Tortelier’s ardor (with Kempe), Steven Isserlis’s melancholy (with Maazel) or Rostropovich’s sheer sweeping presence in any of his recordings. Indeed, the Maazel is one of the more successful issues in that conductor’s Strauss series, and the tone poem is imaginatively coupled with Isserlis and Stephen Hough’s compelling performance of the op. 6 Cello Sonata.


To sum up: Frühbeck de Burgos’s CD is good, well recorded, but not a standout in a crowded field. Nevertheless, if you want these three works on one disc, it is worth considering.


FANFARE: Phillip Scott
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Works on This Recording

1.
Don Juan, Op. 20 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 18 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany (03/25/2004 - 03/29/2004) 
2.
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1895; Germany 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 16 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany (03/25/2004 - 03/29/2004) 
3.
Don Quixote, Op. 35 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christina Biwank (Viola), Claudio Bohorquez (Cello)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896-1897; Germany 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 43 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany (03/25/2004 - 03/29/2004) 

Sound Samples

Don Juan, Op. 20, TrV 156
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks), Op. 28, TrV 171
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Introduction
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Massig
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Maggiore
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Variation 1: Das Abenteur mit den Windmuhlen
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Variation 2: Der Kampf gegen die Hammelherde
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Variation 3: Gesprache zwischen Ritter und Knappe
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Variation 4: Das Abenteur mit der Prozession von Bussern
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Variation 5: Don Quixotes Wacht in der Sommernacht
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Variation 6: Die verzauberte Dulzinea
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Variation 7: Der Ritt durch die Luft
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Variation 8: Die Fahrt auf dem verzauberten Nachen [Barcarolle]
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Variation 9: Der Kampf gegen die vermeintlichen Zauberer: der Angriff auf die Monche
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Variation 10: Zweikampf mit dem Ritter vom blanken Monde; Heimkehr des geschlagenen Don Quixote
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Finale: Don Quixotes Tod

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