This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Josephslegende features Strauss' characteristic harmonic twists and his ever masterful and colorful orchestration. And to hear it done by the Dresden Staatskapelle is well worth the time invested, especially when Sinopoli conducts with the confidence he displays here.
Richard Strauss' The Legend of Joseph was composed in 1912 on a commission from Diaghalev's Ballet Russe to a scenario by Hugo von Hofmansthal recounting the biblical story of Joseph's attempted seduction by Potiphar's wife. The music is, as would be expected, highly colorful and dramatic, with a healthy dose of Strauss' trademark wit. But it also indicates that after Der Rosenkavalier the composer didn't come with anything really new. In fact,
anyone familiar with Strauss' oeuvre will find himself recalling not only Rosenkavalier but also (the yet-to-be-composed) Die Frau Ohne Schatten, and even the orchestral works: the cascading waterfalls of An Alpine Symphony appear here in a frequently recurring solo violin passage, and there's even some of the Sinfonia Domestica's prankishness.
At more than 64 minutes, Joseph is Strauss' longest pure orchestra work, and at first you notice what seems like a continuous pouring on of the syrup. But on closer inspection you are intrigued by Strauss' characteristic harmonic twists (those kinky "wrong note" chords and progressions) and beguiled by his ever masterful and colorful orchestration. And to hear it done by the Dresden Staatskapelle, a Strauss orchestra par excellence, is well worth the time invested, especially when Giuseppe Sinopoli conducts with the confidence he displays here, continuing the success of his Strauss opera recordings. The strings are lush and luminous throughout, while the brass lives up to its storied reputation--all of which is complemented by Deutsche Grammophon's engineering, which accurately captures the uniquely beautiful acoustic of the Semperoper.
--Victor Carr, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Josephslegende, Op. 63 by Richard Strauss
Written: 1912-1914; Germany
Date of Recording: 09/1999
Venue: Semperoper, Dresden, Germany
Length: 63 Minutes 54 Secs.
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