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Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Tod Und Verklärung / Kempe, Et Al


Release Date: 09/17/2002 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 67892   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Rudolf Kempe's Ein Heldenleben stands with the best, though it doesn't offer Reiner's sheer virtuosity, Haitink's supreme polish, or Barbirolli's Falstaffian joviality. What it has is tremendous character, a genuine sense of fun, and a certain "Gemütlichkeit" that's really the essence of Strauss. Listen, for example, to how distinctly the wind soloists characterize the hero's adversaries, to the relaxed warmth of the love scene, the cartoon-like crispness of the battle, and to the way Kempe moves the music along with such a sure hand that you can't seem to remember how you arrived so suddenly at the end when everything sounded so effortless and easy. It's a marvelous performance, certainly one of the most purely Read more "livable", and it sounds just fine in this excellent, clean transfer (not a big improvement over previous editions, I have to add).


The same virtues apply equally to the other two items. Death and Transfiguration spends most of its time making music rather than a Big Philosophical Statement. It's swift, dramatic, and at its conclusion aptly luminous. Once again Kempe proves himself to be a master of Straussian syntax. Listen to the way he builds the final climax after the moment of "death"--a curve of sound so steady and sure of its destination that you can practically see it. Salome's dance is, of course, inspired trash, and no one did this sort of high-gloss twaddle better than Kempe: his feeling for rhythm, color, and above all textural balance was almost preternatural. A vastly entertaining disc, then, and an excellent introduction to what arguably remains the greatest series of Strauss recordings ever made.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897-1898; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1972 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 44 Minutes 15 Secs. 
2.
Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1970 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 22 Minutes 24 Secs. 
3.
Salome, Op. 54: Dance of the seven veils by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1905; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1970 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 22 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Salome (2002 Digital Remaster): Tanz der Sieben Schleier/Dance of the Seven Veils
Tod und Verklärung Op. 24 (2002 Digital Remaster)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (2002 Digital Remaster): Der Held (The Hero)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (2002 Digital Remaster): Des Helden Widersacher (The hero's adversaries)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (2002 Digital Remaster): Des Helden Gefährtin (The hero's wife)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (2002 Digital Remaster): Des Helden Walstatt (The hero's battlefield)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (2002 Digital Remaster): Des Helden Friedenswerke (The hero's works of peace)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (2002 Digital Remaster): Des Helden Weltflucht und Vollendung (The hero's withdrawal from the world)

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