Notes and Editorial Reviews
Le bourgeois gentilhomme
Klaus Tennstedt, cond; Ameril Gunson (sop); Sheila Armstrong (mez); Robert Tear (ten); William Shimell (bar); London PO & Ch
BBC LEGENDS 4208 (76:16) Live: London 5/12/1985;
I attended one of these Tennstedt concerts (Strauss). It made for a warming evening in London, but we heard better from him in that period. The LPO does not sound like the VPO for Krauss, especially in the string departments. There are magical moments of quiet playing towards the end, some real absorption in the score’s atmosphere and detail, but the Strauss can seem a little tiring when loud. Be warned that it may be my least favorite Strauss orchestral piece. The audience (we, gulp) is noticeable.
The works on this BBC Legends CD seem an odd choice and an odd pairing. It’s still worth buying because Tennstedt made special things happen, live. The
has that sense of occasion, writ large. Robert Tear has one of his most commanding nights, and the whole thing flies, as it should, in good sound. Standard recommendations from Ancerl, Rattle, or Mackerras are not displaced in any way, but if you are a Tennstedt admirer, then this exciting (if occasionally muddled) version of a full-bore masterpiece is hardly going to disappoint you. The choir is fine, and the (capable) organist is not named. Recommended reservedly, in the hope that more Tennstedt concerts are reissued by BBC Legends in sound this good.
FANFARE: Paul Ingram