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Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Metamorphosen / Herbert Blomstedt


Release Date: 01/21/2008 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 436596   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Arthur David KrehbielRaymond Kobler
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Herbert Blomstedt's Ein Heldenleben is one of the most beautifully rendered performances on disc. There's buoyant energy that enlivens the music from the first note to the last, and not just in the more bombastic sections--though these, especially the Hero Goes to War, are particularly exciting. But listen also to the quiet passage near the beginning of The Hero's Works of Peace, and hear how the divided low string chords breathe with an engaging inner life. This is just one example of the San Francisco Symphony's marvelous playing--alert and virtuosic in all sections. For his part, Blomstedt never lets the tension sag, even in Strauss' long, slow ending--a real downer in some performances. Decca's wide-ranging recording presents a Read more full-scale sonic "picture" of the performance with remarkable clarity and warmth.

Blomstedt's Metamorphosen is remarkable for the way it reveals the individual string lines in this highly contrapuntal score, but his slowish tempos (the performance lasts more than 28 minutes) make the music sound too much like an endurance test. That is, except for the fast central passage, where the conductor suddenly becomes animated. However, Blomstedt's deliberation is wholly appropriate for the closing bars, where the basses intone Beethoven's Eroica Funeral March. Again, the recording is excellent. It's an unusual if apt coupling (both works intertwine Strauss' musical and personal life), and certainly a recording well worth having. Available on-demand from Arkivmusic.com.

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Arthur David Krehbiel (French Horn), Raymond Kobler (Violin)
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897-1898; Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1992 
Venue:  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco 
Length: 44 Minutes 23 Secs. 
2.
Metamorphosen for 23 solo Strings, AV 142 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1945; Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1992 
Venue:  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco 
Length: 28 Minutes 55 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Ein Heldenleben: IV. Des Helden Walstatt

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