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Strauss - Eine Alpensinfonie

Orchestras / Ensembles
Catalogue numberBIS-1950 SACD
Release date2012-09-01
Orig. sample rate96000Hz
Total time77:04

Music Web International, outstanding March 2013: "This is a super disc. The sound is magnificent - I listened to the disc as a CD - and the performances of both pieces are very fine indeed"; BBC Music Magazine: Choice of the Month March 2013; Classical Music Sentinel: outstanding, November 2012: "In this new recording, conductor Frank Shipway and the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra take full advantage of this splendid score and capture the raw-grit-mixed-with-philosophical-loftiness essence of this work. And all of it captured in wonderful sound, where for once one can clearly hear the pipe organ, and the thunder and wind machines to full effect".

Called a ‘symphony’ by its composer, Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony is nevertheless a symphonic poem, and as such it is the last in a series of works that includes such masterpieces as Don Juan, Also sprach Zarathustra and Ein Heldenleben.
In 1900, when Strauss first mentioned any plans for the work, he spoke of a symphonic poem in two parts that would begin with a sunrise in Switzerland. When he returned to the idea some ten years later, the work soon grew so vast that he decided to be content with one single movement, depicting the ‘worship of eternal glorious nature’.
To regard the Alpensinfonie simply as an impression of landscape would be a mistake, however. It does make use of Strauss’ entire repertoire of orchestral pictorialism, but behind it are ideas much less simple: nature is being worshipped in the intoxicated spirit of Nietzsche’s superman, the liberation of the soul is achieved through hard work – the climber’s struggle to gain the mountaintop.
The work is divided into 22 sections that flow in an unbroken sequence, marking the ascent and descent of the mountain, from before sunrise to after sunset. It was scored for the largest orchestra ever used by Strauss for a purely orchestral piece, and he later said that it was in the Alpine Symphony that he had ‘finally learned how to orchestrate’.
The experience must in any case have been useful when he composed his next work, the opera Die Frau ohne Schatten, with an even more opulent orchestration. The opera was premièred in 1919, but it wasn’t until 1946 that Strauss, in his 82nd year, returned to the score in order to make his Symphonic Fantasy, based on high points from the opera.
These huge, and enormously colourful works are performed here by the eminent São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, whose highly praised recordings of the Choros by Villa-Lobos have been described as ‘an orgy of colours and rhythms’ (Diapason) and ‘an assured blend of lush colours, pulsating rhythms and supple phrasing’ (International Record Review). The orchestra is conducted by Frank Shipway, with fine credentials in late-Romantic Austro-German repertoire.
Extra material for download
  Composer: Strauss, Richard
  Eine Alpensinfonie, Op.64 (1915) 52:30
01 Nacht (Night) 03:01 $ 0.73 USD
02 Sonnenaufgang (Sunrise) 01:31 $ 0.36 USD
03 Der Anstieg (The Ascent) 02:15 $ 0.54 USD
04 Eintritt in den Wald (Entry into the Forest) 05:32 $ 1.33 USD
05 Wanderung neben dem Bache (Wandering by the Brook) 00:43 $ 0.17 USD
06 Am Wasserfall (At the Waterfall) 00:15 $ 0.06 USD
07 Erscheinung (Apparition) 00:49 $ 0.20 USD
08 Auf blumigen Wiesen (On Flowering Meadows) 00:56 $ 0.22 USD
09 Auf der Alm (On the Alpine Pasture) 02:20 $ 0.56 USD
10 Durch Dickicht und Gestrüpp auf Irrwegen (Through Thickets
and Undergrowth on the Wrong Path)
01:32 $ 0.37 USD
11 Auf dem Gletscher (On the Glacier) 01:16 $ 0.30 USD
12 Gefahrvolle Augenblicke (Dangerous Moments) 01:36 $ 0.38 USD
13 Auf dem Gipfel (On the Summit) 04:54 $ 1.18 USD
14 Vision (Vision) 03:34 $ 0.86 USD
15 Nebel steigen auf (Mists Rise) 00:23 $ 0.09 USD
16 Die Sonne verdüstert sich allmählich (The Sun Gradually
Becomes Obscured)
01:02 $ 0.25 USD
17 Elegie (Elegy) 02:26 $ 0.58 USD
18 Stille vor dem Sturm (Calm Before the Storm) 03:03 $ 0.73 USD
19 Gewitter und Sturm, Abstieg (Thunder and Tempest, Descent) 03:44 $ 0.90 USD
20 Sonnenuntergang (Sunset) 03:01 $ 0.72 USD
21 Ausklang (Quiet Settles) 06:29 $ 1.56 USD
22 Nacht (Night) 02:08 $ 0.60 USD
  Composer: Strauss, Richard
23 Symphonische Fantasie aus ‘Die Frau ohne Schatten’
23:29 $ 5.76 USD
  Album total 77:04
ComposerStrauss, Richard
ConductorShipway, Frank
OrchestraSão Paulo Symphony Orchestra

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