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Strauss: Symphonic Poems Vol 2 / Neeme Järvi


Release Date: 06/29/2004 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10206   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Raphael WallfischJohn HarringtonEdwin Paling
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 34 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also available in this series are Volume 1 and Volume 3.

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Here's more mid-priced Järvi/Strauss from Chandos for your consideration. Disc 1 contains three of this cycle's high-points, starting with a spectacular Sinfonia Domestica. The score's abundant pools of chamber-like woodwind interaction convey characterful zest at all times, while the brass positively let rip in the Fugue, egged on by Järvi's upbeat tempos. The love music makes its lascivious points without wallowing in them. Imagine the X-ray clarity of Szell's recording,
Read more Kempe/Dresden's local color, and Sawallisch/Philadelphia's opulent tuttis all rolled into one and you've basically got Järvi. The conductor's fleet, light-footed, and smiling overview of Till Eulenspiegel holds its own with the catalog's finest (including Szell/Cleveland and Kempe/Berlin), and Järvi's strong and fervently projected rendition of the early, underrated Macbeth is equal to those by Dorati and Maazel.

Although Järvi admirably unravels Don Quixote's textural intricacies (an extra fuel tank propels the Ride through the Air, and the dissonant sheep noises seem to have grown fangs!), the Introduction, the Night Watch, and the Death Scene could have moved a little more. Concertmaster Edwin Paling and viola soloist John Harrington brilliantly rise to their parts' challenges, but cello soloist Raphael Wallfisch's wooly tone and occasional high-register wobbling don't match the eloquence and instrumental command Tortelier (Kempe/Berlin, Kempe/Dresden), Fournier (Szell/Cleveland), and Rostropovich (Karajan/EMI) bring to the title role.

In Also Sprach Zarathustra, the Scottish National Orchestra's proud and pliable brass largely prove to be the focal point, while the strings fall short of the fullness and vibrancy marking the more exciting Steinberg/Boston, Haitink/Concertgebouw, and Solti/Chicago versions. However, these quibbles shouldn't prevent you from acquiring this release, given the sumptuous, demonstration-quality engineering, Chandos' bargain price, and Disc 1's glories.

--Jed Distler
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphonia domestica, Op. 53 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902-1903; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/21/1987 
Venue:  Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland 
Length: 42 Minutes 5 Secs. 
2. Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1895; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/21/1987 
Venue:  Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland 
Length: 15 Minutes 0 Secs. 
3. Macbeth, Op. 23 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1891; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/24/1989 
Venue:  Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland 
Length: 19 Minutes 52 Secs. 
4. Don Quixote, Op. 35 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch (Cello), John Harrington (Viola), Edwin Paling (Violin)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896-1897; Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/25/1988 
Venue:  SNO Centre, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 43 Minutes 55 Secs. 
5. Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895-1896; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/12/1987 
Venue:  Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland 
Length: 32 Minutes 31 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphonia domestica, Op. 53, TrV 209: Part I: Introduction -
Symphonia domestica, Op. 53, TrV 209: Part I: Scherzo -
Symphonia domestica, Op. 53, TrV 209: Part I: Adagio
Symphonia domestica, Op. 53, TrV 209: Part II: Finale -
Symphonia domestica, Op. 53, TrV 209: Part II: Epilog
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks), Op. 28, TrV 171: Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28, TrV 171
Macbeth, Op. 23, TrV 163
Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184: Introduction
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
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176: Einleitung -
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176: Von den Hinterweltlern -
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176: Von der grossen Sehnsucht -
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176: Von den Freuden-und Leidenschaften -
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176: Das Grablied -
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176: Von der Wissenschaft -
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176: Der Genesende -
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176: Das Tanzlied -
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176: Nachtwandlerlied

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