Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|R. Strauss, Britten, Bostridge|
Horn Concerto 1 & 2 / Serenade Tenor Horn Strings
Genres: Pop, Classical
This is a wonderful record: the music is pure enchantment, the performance utter perfection. Strauss wrote his first concerto as a teenager for his horn-virtuoso father, the second almost 60 years later; they share the sam... more »
This is a wonderful record: the music is pure enchantment, the performance utter perfection. Strauss wrote his first concerto as a teenager for his horn-virtuoso father, the second almost 60 years later; they share the same key, a brilliantly demanding solo part, and a hunting-horn finale. The first, youthfully romantic and exuberant, is remarkably well written; the second is vintage late Strauss with its luscious melodies and rich orchestration. The playing is stunning technically, tonally, and musically. Britten's Serenade for Horn, Tenor, and Strings is surely one of his masterpieces in the perfection of its form and sheer beauty of melody and harmony, melding words and music. It blends voice and instruments, evoking mood and character from pastoral peace, glorious triumph, and glittering gaiety to spine-chilling fear of death and heartwarming serenity. Written for tenor Peter Pears and hornist Dennis Brain, the work has found new ideal interpreters here, though Pears's voice and style remain unforgettable to anyone who has ever heard him. --Edith Eisler
Beautiful Strauss, but even more beautiful Britten...
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Strauss concerti are very good -- no overbrassy nonsense here, but instead exquisite phrasing and a good sense of musical narrative. But Neunecker is also capable of power when needed -- the finale of the First Concerto being an example. Yet for me the real jewel of this disc is the Britten Serenade. It's a beautiful work -- perhaps the most perfect (formally) in Britten's entire output. I have to admit I was skeptical after reading all the hype about Bostridge, but once I heard him sung his first note, I was completely won over. What a wonderful timbre he has, and even more importantly, what a wonderful musician he is! His voice might appear slight on first hearing, but it is capable of a surprising variety of expression. And he clearly relishes the words, shading his dynamics, tone and enunciation according to the poetry. Metzmacher's conducting is very accomplished -- the orchestra practically "glows" under his baton (though this perhaps has something to do with details of recording and mixing, of which I am not very knowledgable)."
Worth buying twice
Laura B. Monteros | 09/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All my CDs were recently stolen out of my car. The advantage of this is that I can find better recordings of some of the titles; the disadvantage is, of course, having to search for the particular recordings I love. This CD was worth the search. Neunecker has that full German tone I love and try to emulate in my own playing. Anyone who records these concertos must be a technical master, but Brain's tone is often too brassy for my taste (is this heretical?) and Tuckwell is simply too strident. Neunecker's musical, emotional, and flawless delivery of these difficult works flaunts the prejudice against women horn players that still exists in the classical world. It is a shame that the conductor's name, rather than hers, appears next to the title in the search results."
scholarboy | NYC | 01/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just discovered Mary-Luise Neunecker, almost by accident. Why isn't she more well known? Beautiful soulful and elegant playing and I agree wholeheartedly that the real gem is the Britten. I love the fact that they interpose the Serenade between the two concerti, giving the CD a live concert like quality. Bostridge is perfect as well. A gem. P.S. I discovered Neunecker on a Classical Arts Showcase DVD clip. That performance of the Strauss is with the Munich Chamber Orchestra and is also worth searching out."