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The São Paulo Symphony Orchestra under Frank Shipway – an expert in late-Romantic Austro-German repertoire – here perform two vast and enormously colourful works by Richard Strauss.
The Alpine Symphony is a symphonic poem and is the last in a series of works that includes such masterpieces as Don Juan, Also sprach Zarathustra and Ein Heldenleben. 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. The work makes use of Strauss’ entire repertoire of orchestral pictorialism.
The opera Die Frau ohne Schatten, used an even more opulent orchestration than the Alpine. It wasn’t until 1946 that Strauss, in his 82nd year, returned to the score in order to make his Symphonic Fantasy, based on highlights from the opera.
Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), Op. 64, TrV 233
Der Anstieg (The Ascent)
Eintritt in den Wald (Entry into the Wood)
Wanderung neben dem Bache (Wandering by the brook)
Am Wasserfall (At the Waterfall)
Auf blumigen Wiesen (On Flowering Meadows)
Auf der Alm (On the Alpine Pasture)
Durch Dickicht und Gestrupp auf Irrwegen (Straying through Thicket and Undergrowth)
Auf dem Gletscher (On the Glacier)
Gefahrvolle Augenblicke (Dangerous Moments)
Auf dem Gipfel (On the Summit)
Nebel steigen auf (Mists rise)
Die Sonne verdustert sich allmahlich (The Sun gradually darkens)
Stille vor dem Sturm (Calm before the Storm)
Gewitter und Sturm, Abstieg (Thunder and Storm, Descent)
Ausklang (Final Sounds)
Richard Strauss: Symphonic Fantasy on Die Frau ohne Schatten, TrV 234a
Symphonic Fantasy on Die Frau ohne Schatten, TrV 234a
“A dramatic case of fire and ice if ever there was one...You might argue that nobility has to some extent been sacrificed to the brazenness of the playing but you cannot deny the fervour of what they bring. I don't know of a more exciting account on disc.”
“The night opening is evocatively veiled, the mountain theme especially, and moves organically to its spiritual sunrise. Throughout there's a natural sense of pace between vigorous clambering and spacious nature panoramas. Shipway moulds his strings to sit every situation...I'd be very happy to hear more Strauss from this remarkable team.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.