Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Richard  Strauss, Zdenek Kosler, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra|
Aus Italien: Music by Richard Strauss
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Super Richard Strauss from NAXOS- great price.
Janos Gardonyi | Toronto, Ontario Canada | 09/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Far from me to be supercritical when it comes to such a terrific bargain as this. A beautifully recorded CD, well detailed sound,
will bring these lesser known works closer to the public.
"Aus Italien" (From Italy), a youthful work, has great inspiration and already shows a major talent. Listen to those tremendous opening chords: later these reappear, quite metamorphosed, in the opening of "Tod und Verklarung" (Death and
Transfiguration)a later and mature tone poem. Influences of Liszt, Mendelssohn and even Brahms are noticeable. The second movement is driven very well and the third, the wonderful Adagio,probably the best part of the work,shimmers with the reflected moonlight over the sea at Sorrento, looking forward to Mahler,
will give you solace. The raucous finale, variations on Funiculi,Funicula,is very amusing,coming from Strauss,and brings the work to a hilarious,frappant conclusion.
The second work,"Die Liebe der Danae" builds beautifully to a real Straussian climax.
The Rosencavalier 2nd Waltz sequence is my favorite. Is so good to hear it in the foreground with a full orchestra, because in the opera these waltzes fade somewhat into the background and make no great impression. Kosler plays them in a good upbeat tempo, but not too fast and still bringing out the beauty of these waltzes.
Zdenek Kosler is perhaps not known in the West, but let me remind you, he is an excellent conductor. He even worked under Leonard Bernstein in New York! He is now a Permanent conductor of
the illustrious Czech Philharmonic in Prague.Some perhaps have seen him on video conducting the Bartered Bride with great verve and gusto.
So all ye Strauss lovers, do not hesitate to by this disc at such a low price. You sure won't regret it."
A Curious Selection
Alwyn | New Zealand | 06/18/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is an unusual recording, featuring some of Strauss's less well-known work. The most successful work on the CD is the youthful "Aus Italien" and, perhaps because of this, the interpretation is at its best in this work. The other works- the second waltz-sequence from "Der Rosenkavalier", and the symphonic fragment from "Die Liebe der Danae", are also commendably performed, if a little placidly. The recording contains much that is to be commended. There is a sombre, mysterious rendering of the opening to Aus Italien and a worthy attempt at sustaining the momentum in this slightly rambling movement. The third movement, too, is well performed, with an impressionistic sparkle, especially in the opening bars. There is a suitably nostalgic air to the waltz sequence and a very stormy beginning to the fragment from "Die Liebe der Danae". Having said that, Kosler has a tendency to err on the slow side when choosing his tempi. The waltz sequence suffers least in this respect, and Aus Italien is quite good (generally),apart from in the last movement, where the tempo and the interest lag a little. The Symphonic fragment quickly becomes mired in this sluggish tendency after its promising beginning, although some of the blame must surely be laid at the feet of Klemens Kraus for his slightly dull arrangement. In conclusion, the performance is fairly good, especially at this price, and the recorded sound is adequate. There are numerous livelier versions of the Waltz sequence, and Norman del Mar's recording of Aus Italien is also worth a look; for those who are so inclined, Klemens Krauss's version of the compelte "Die Liebe der Danae" is glorious, and a much more rewarding work than the fragment."
A Pizza a couple of Heinekens please...
vmzfla | Orlando, Fl. | 06/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Richard Strauss the carrier of the symphonic poem baton from Liszt and the master of Wagnerian proportion orchestrations needs no further introduction. On an 1886 vacation in Italy the young Richard made musical sketches of places he visited. These later took shape as " Aus Italien" a traditional four movement symphonic fantasy, not the single movement form he was to develop in his later masterpieces. As one would expect with Strauss a colorful Italian landscape is scored. The first movement depicting the sunny Roman countryside. The second nostagically climaxes from the somber ruins to the glories of past triumphs. On the beach of Sorrento nature abounds, gentle wind, bird chirps and the rustle of waves. In the finale Luigi Denza's popular at the time "Funiculi, Funicula", which Strauss mistook for a Neopolitan folksong is interwoven with ideas from the previous three movements. Thought a minor work, everything here is characteristically Strauss, preparing us for the greatness to come.
The "Symphonic fagment" consists of excerpts from the 2nd and 3rd acts strung together by Clemens Krauss an advisor to Strauss. He never took credit for it instead paying homage, as Strauss died before hearing the complete opera " Die Lieb der Danae" performed in 1952. The subject based on King Midas and all he touched turned to gold.
Concluding the disc is the waltz sequence No.2 from "Der Rosenkavalier" derived from the 3rd act. All jolting and hopping along just as Johann Strauss would have loved.
Good NAXOS recording vintage 1990, no need to pay more as Kosler and the Slovak Philharmonic are up to the task."