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Wagner: Operatic Highlights; Strauss: Tone Poems / Klemperer


Release Date: 03/26/2013 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 484682   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard StraussRichard Wagner
Performer:  Christa Ludwig
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

These Strauss recordings are amazing. Granted, Don Juan isn’t as sprightly as it could be (though still powerful), but this Death and Transfiguration is one of the truly great ones, uncommonly swift and gripping, at a pace very similar to Strauss’s own. Salome’s Dance is as luscious and sultry as it has ever been done, and it builds to an absolutely terrifying, vicious climax (sound clip). Till Eulenspiegel is rich in humor, with a surprisingly quick and dramatic judgment scene (second sound clip). Metamophosen was a piece made for Klemperer’s particular brand of unsentimental, unflinching seriousness, and this version is devastating. Some of these performances (D & T and Metamorphosen) were previously issued in EMI’s Great Recordings Read more of the Century series coupled to Mahler’s Ninth, but they deserve to be heard together. Klemperer was very selective in his Strauss, but he was at his very best in those works that he did champion.

As for the Wagner, some of these items are true rarities. My colleague Bob Levine has already written at length about this dark and gloomy Walküre Act I (Dernesch, Cochran, and Sotin), very well sung with a cast that seems at one with the approach. As he says, you probably wouldn’t want to hear the whole opera done this way, with the tempos measured but not dragging, but it’s good to have this performance back. Wotan’s Farewell, with Norman Bailey bravely coping with Klemperer’s very slow speed (sound clip), is also an acquired taste, but well worth a listen. Christa Ludwig’s versions of the Wesendonck-Lieder and the Liebestod are rightly regarded as classics, while the orchestral excerpts from the various operas, available separately and already reviewed here (multiple times) belong with Szell’s as the best collection of “bleeding chunkss” to emerge from the Golden Age of early stereo. Pretty wonderful, then, with sonics that have held up very well.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Don Juan, Op. 20 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
2. Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
3. Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1895; Germany 
4. Salome, Op. 54: Dance of the seven veils by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1905; Germany 
5. Metamorphosen for 23 solo Strings, AV 142 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1945; Germany 
6. Tannhäuser: Overture by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
7. Tannhäuser: Act 3 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
8. Lohengrin: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
9. Lohengrin: Act 3 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
10. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Germany 
11. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Dance of the Apprentices by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Germany 
12. Parsifal: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1882; Germany 
13. Der fliegende Holländer: Overture by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841/1852; Germany 
14. Das Rheingold: Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Germany 
15. Die Walküre: Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
16. Siegfried Idyll by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; Germany 
17. Siegfried: Forest Murmurs [Instrumental] by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Germany 
18. Götterdämmerung: Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Germany 
19. Götterdämmerung: Siegfried's Funeral Music by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Germany 
20. Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Germany 
21. Wesendonck Lieder by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Christa Ludwig (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857-1858; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1963 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 21 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: German 
22. Rienzi: Overture by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1843; Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Otto Klemperer und Richard Strauss - perfekt! May 7, 2013 By William F Wieting MD (York Harbor, ME) See All My Reviews "Highly recommended, in particular for the Richard Strauss tone poems. Klemperer obviously has the orchestra not only well-drilled, but inspired. They play with enthusiastic commitment - elan - as well as precision. Enormous dynamic range makes the Strauss compelling, especially in Tod und Verklaerung; this is easily the best recording I have ever heard of that profound, dramatic story. For its age, the sound is simply amazing. Bravo!" Report Abuse
 No mention of METAMORPHISEN in contents list April 5, 2013 By alex segal (san rafael, CA) See All My Reviews "It's on the cover of the box...a great interpretation uniquely suited to Klemperer.. most convincing of a work most others can't sustain, imo.." Report Abuse
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