Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|R. Strauss, Barenboim, Chicago Symphony|
Richard Strauss: Till Eulenspiegels Lustige Streiche, Op.28/Ein
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra made one of the greatest recordings ever of Ein Heldenleben under Fritz Reiner, all the more reason to lament this 1991 release, the second of Daniel Barenboim's debut discs as the CSO's musi... more »
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra made one of the greatest recordings ever of Ein Heldenleben under Fritz Reiner, all the more reason to lament this 1991 release, the second of Daniel Barenboim's debut discs as the CSO's music director. It takes Barenboim just a few measures to dispel any notion that we are in for the kind of ride his predecessor gave the piece. The hero he portrays is a contemplative--one almost said self-absorbed--posturer, certainly not a man of action. From the flabby, grandiose treatment of the opening pages, through the cluttered mess of The Hero's Battlefield and its anticlimactic reprise of the hero's theme, to the glutinous hyperlegatos of The Hero's Works of Peace (where one of the harps is noticeably out of tune) and the Hollywood bathos of the score's denouement, this is as uninspiring a rendition as can be found. Only one ray of insight penetrates the darkness here, and that is co-concertmaster Samuel Magad's sympathetic portrait of "The Hero's Helpmate." The account of Till Eulenspiegel which prefaces the disc exhibits the same lack of attention to balances and textural detail that typified Barenboim's work in Paris, though the CSO still manages to play the piece with knife-edge precision and near-perfect attacks and releases. Erato's sound is decent, no better: the bass is tubby and poorly defined, the solo winds and the horns are unnaturally recessed, and the soundstage is only vaguely suggested. --Ted Libbey
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Steven Vlad | Boston, MA United States | 09/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know for sure that this is the same CSO/Barenboim recording I just heard on the radio, but I think it must be. If so, this is a rocking Till! I make no comment on Heldenleben since I haven't heard it, but on Till the orchestra sounds balanced, precise, in time, and in tune. The brass is not overbearing but is sufficiently ballsy with a good sound when required. The soloists are fine and the tempos are right on.
I don't think I've heard a better Till."