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Strauss: Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel, Metamorphosen / Kempe


Release Date: 03/07/2006 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 45831   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

R. STRAUSS Don Juan. Till Eulenspiegel. Der Rosenkavalier: Waltzes (arr. Kempe). Metamorphosen ? Rudolf Kempe, cond; Staatskapelle Dresden ? EMI 45831, analog (74:11)

Little needs to be said about these justly acclaimed performances, probably, as they are more than 30 years old, and they have had several appearances on CD already. This is a "Great Recordings of the Century" series release with a new booklet note by Michael Kennedy, and new digital Read more re-mastering. Déjà vu seldom sounded so good. (I hope Kempe?s family is profiting well from these seemingly infinite reincarnations.)

Kempe is one of the conductors least likely to approach Richard Strauss's music as if it were a "stereo spectacular" – these are thorough, serious readings, well balanced between introversion and extroversion. Nothing is done merely to create an effect, and yet the music?s dramatic and pictorial potential is not shortchanged. Kempe has faith in his listeners. He believes that they can understand what Strauss is trying to say without merely dazzling them or hitting them over the head with it. If Strauss?s music sometimes seems ?easy,? that?s not the case in these readings. Furthermore, one can?t find an orchestra that understands Strauss better than the Staatskapelle Dresden. These recordings have the stamp of authenticity.

The most controversial item here is the Metamorphosen . Kempe plays it in 25:14, which makes it the fastest in my collection, I think. Most conductors take at least 27 minutes over it. Blomstedt (Decca) and Zinman (Arte Nova) nearly cross the 29-minute mark. As I get older, I appreciate slower and slower tempos, and there are parts of Kempe?s Metamorphosen that feel a little rushed to me. Nevertheless, I appreciate Kempe's apparent desire not to let the music suffocate under its own weight. As time went on, Metamorphosen absorbed a fatalistic subtext that no doubt encouraged more funereal readings, but a case can be made for playing it more or less as absolute music, and in that context, Kempe's flowing tempos don?t seem so fast after all.

The "Great Recordings of the Century" companion to this disc contains Kempe?s Tod und Verklärung , Ein Heldenleben , and the "Dance of the Seven Veils" from Salome (EMI 67891), and it is desirable for similar reasons. Fans of Kempe's Strauss also should explore a worthy CD-R reissue of the conductor?s RCA Victor recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Eine Alpensinfonie (ReDiscovery RD 069, www.rediscovery.us).

FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Don Juan, Op. 20 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1970 
Venue:  Lukaskirche, Dresden 
2.
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1895; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1970 
Venue:  Lukaskirche, Dresden 
3.
Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59: Waltz sequence no 1, Acts 1-2 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1944; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1970 
Venue:  Lukaskirche, Dresden 
4.
Metamorphosen for 23 solo Strings, AV 142 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1945; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1970 
Venue:  Lukaskirche, Dresden 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Demands continuous listening. September 17, 2013 By Dr. Mitchell Gurk (Spencer, MA) See All My Reviews "This Till prankish and lyric. DJ lush and smothering. Meta, a new work to these ears - brilliant conception and soothing. Feel i have heard the best of Strauss - this conductor really delivers." Report Abuse
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