Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64 (An Alpine Symphony)

This page lists all recordings of Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64 (An Alpine Symphony), by Richard Strauss (1864-1949) on CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Mariss Jansons conducts Richard Strauss

Mariss Jansons conducts Richard Strauss

The 100th release of BR-KLASSIK Label!


Strauss, R:

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24


At the age of just fifteen, the budding composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949) lost his way during a summer hike on the Heimgarten in the Bavarian Alps, and ended up in a thunderstorm. The next day, he fantasized about the experience on the piano. - Twenty years later, that memory had matured into a concept describing a one-day hike in the form of a symphonic poem, and in 1915 – a further fifteen years later – Strauss finally completed his masterpiece. The hike begins in the darkness before dawn, and after sunrise the ascent goes through a forest, past a stream and a waterfall, through meadows and pastures, and up to a glacier. The hiker then loses his way, and after several risky moments arrives at the summit, where he also experiences a vision. The weather then suddenly worsens, and the descent is accompanied by heavy rain and fierce thunderstorms. The eventful day - summarized in just sixty minutes of music - ends with a sunset, and darkness returns.

"An Alpine Symphony" is probably Strauss' most famous symphonic poem. Its content is easily understandable, and the work became especially well-known for its gigantic orchestra. The music is far from heavy-handed, however, with many of the passages orchestrated like chamber music. Like a kind of greeting from the Bavarian Alps, as it were, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and its chief conductor Mariss Jansons have placed this masterpiece, and the music of Richard Strauss in general, on the programme of their forthcoming tour of Asia in late 2016. The live recording of “Alpine Symphony” concerts planned for October 2016 in Munich’s Philharmonie im Gasteig is enhanced on this latest CD from BR-KLASSIK by the addition of Strauss’ symphonic poem "Death and Transfiguration", first performed in 1890; the recording here is of concerts performed in Munich in February 2014. – We thus have two very recent interpretations of two of this great German composer’s most important tone poems on one CD.

Live-Recording Munich, Philharmonie im Gasteig 10.2016 (Alpine Symphony); 02.2014 (Death and Tr.)

“The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra bring a burnished, polished sound to every strand of Strauss's kaleidoscopic score, and BR-Klassik's engineering is a marvel of presence, clarity and detail.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“A highly desirable album performed by an orchestra who knows this music so well.” MusicWeb International, 18th January 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

BR Klassik - 900148

(CD)

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R. Strauss: Tone Poems Volume 4

R. Strauss: Tone Poems Volume 4


Strauss, R:

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64


The biographical point of departure for the Alpine Symphony was a hiking excursion in the Heimgarten of the Bavarian foothills of the Alps undertaken by the still youthful composer in 1879; when he took the wrong path, he was surprised by an unexpected storm front. The result was a magnificent symphonic poem that Strauss himself intended to call “Antichrist”.

There is an astonishing bon mot attributed to the composer that seems to intentionally veil the history of this work’s composition: “I once wanted to compose like a cow gives milk”.

“Weigle’s is not an Alpine Symphony in the wide-screen, Technicolor mode but a performance defined by a wonderful lyrical generosity, complete control of the work’s 50-minute span and orchestral playing in which every note seems to reflect the drama that is being played out – physical turning metaphysical as the work progresses…highly recommended” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

Oehms Sebastian Weigle Richard Strauss Symphonic Poems - OC891

(CD)

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Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Gothenburg Concert Hall, November 2014


Kent Nagano and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra first became acquainted in 1993, when they worked together on Mahler’s Third Symphony. Love was immediate and Kent Nagano conducted the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra regularly over the next decades.

When Kent Nagano was appointed as Principal Guest Conductor starting in the autumn of 2013, one of the ideas turned into a project: performing and recording major orchestral works of Richard Strauss in connection with the composer’s 150th anniversary in 2014. Having worked for a long time as Music Director of the Bayerische Staatsoper, Kent Nagano has unique insights into Strauss’s music and the Strauss tradition, and can draw on information from authentic sources within the Strauss family.

What is perhaps less known is that the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra also has a solid Richard Strauss tradition. The orchestra already performed Don Juan in its inaugural season 1905-1906; it has been played more than 50 times since then. Under Wilhelm Stenhammar, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra played Macbeth (1908) and Tod und Verklärung (1913), as well as the overture to Guntram and Till Eulenspiegel (1913).

After Stenhammar’s period as Principal Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, several of his later successors championed the music of Richard Strauss: Sergiu Comissiona (Don Quixote), Sixten Ehrling (Ein Heldenleben) and Charles Dutoit (Don Juan). Neeme Järvi and Gustavo Dudamel had a particular affinity with Don Juan, and Dudamel also conducted Ein Heldenleben.

Eine Alpensinfonie, the last of Strauss’s large orchestral pieces, entered the orchestra’s repertoire with Otmar Suitner in 1975, and since then has been one of the most popular pieces with both the orchestra and its audience. Neeme Järvi took it to the UK and Estonia (1999) and Gustavo Dudamel conducted it five times in Sweden (2007).

The orchestra was thus technically and musically familiar with the splendid score when performances were scheduled with Kent Nagano in 2014, including this recording.

For these performances and recording a new approach was taken. Conductor and orchestra wished to express not the bombastic aspects, but the subtle emotional changes, the colours and nuances of the vast and impressive landscape and the wanderer’s instinctive reaction to it, which is also expressed in the enormous orchestral apparatus. This was made possible only by the long and searching work orchestra and conductor carried out together over the years, which made possible new shades and depths in the re-creation of this magnificent piece of art.

“Admirers of this score will be interested in Nagano’s serious, intelligent take on it” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2016

Farao - B108091

(CD)

$15.50

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Live Concert from the Semper Opera Dresden

Live Concert from the Semper Opera Dresden


Strauss, R:

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Vivaldi:

Concerto 'per l'orchestra di Dresda' RV577

Wagner:

Rienzi Overture

Weber:

Jubel-Ouvertüre, J245 (Op. 59)


Date of Recording: 22 September 1998

This recording of the colossal festival concert celebrating the 450th anniversary of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden at the Semper Opera House is accompanied by a wealth of historical detail. The pieces in the selection were all played for the first time by the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. We see masterpieces of western music, performed under the direction of Giuseppe Sinopoli. Heading the lineup are the “Alpensinfonie” by Richard Strauss, the overture from Richard Wagner’s “Rienzi” and Antonio Vivaldi’s “Concerto di Dresda.”

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9 NTSC Running

Time: 91 mins

FSK: 0

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Early Music

Arthaus Musik - 102321

(DVD Video)

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Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64


This sonically spectacular recording of Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony was made with the internationally hand-picked players of the Saito Kinen Orchestra and recorded at the Saito Kinen Festival, Matsumoto, at the heart of the Japan Alps. Daniel Harding was specially invited to conduct the orchestra in the absence of Seiji Ozawa who, at that time, was still recuperating from treatment for cancer.

Voted among the World’s Greatest Orchestras by Gramophone magazine, the Saito Kinen Orchestra boasts the best Japanese players from the leading orchestras of Europe and North America as well as selected wind and brass principals from Berlin, Vienna, Philadelphia and Boston among others. It is one of the world’s elite festival orchestras

Demanding an unprecedented orchestra of 125 players, the Alpine Symphony was the last of Strauss’ great series of tone poems. Specially released to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss’ birth and the centenary of the symphony’s composition, this is the first DECCA recording since 1988 and utilizes the latest 24 bit 96khz technology for a truly spectacular sound.

“Barring some overly shiny string tone, the orchestra founded by Seiji Ozawa climbs Strauss’s mountain with precision, suave colours, and decent taste...this Alpine Symphony, in lustrous sound, certainly displays Strauss’s skills as an orchestrator. I only wish Harding had helped the composer by bringing a bigger pot of glue.” The Times, 28th February 2014 ***

“While the string tone could use a bit more depth and sheen, the playing...is exceptional. Harding paces the huge structure with great care, too; it is obvious from the measured way that he builds up the opening section that his view of the work is going to be less about pictorial impressions and more about presenting an authentic symphonic argument” The Guardian, 15th May 2014 ****

“Under Daniel Harding, clarity is the watch-word...Harding's princely-sounding [oboist] Philippe Tondre falls on the ear with seductive grace.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

Decca - 4786422

(CD)

$12.75

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Renée Fleming in Concert

Renée Fleming in Concert

Recorded live at the Salzburg Festival, August 2011


Strauss, R:

Befreit, Op. 39 No. 4

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Winterliebe Op. 48 No. 5

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Traum durch die Dämmerung, Op. 29 No. 1

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Gesang der Apollopriesterin Op. 33 No. 2

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Arabella: excerpts

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64


Gloriously affirming the Salzburg Festival’s long-standing reputation as a supreme musical event, this concert honours one of its founding fathers, Richard Strauss. Renée Fleming, Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra unite for a programme of song, opera and tone poem, genres central to the composer’s extraordinarily fruitful career. Fleming interprets four of his songs with orchestra, including the deeply moving Befreit, and provides a substantial taste of perhaps her finest operatic role, Arabella. New vistas then open as Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic take the spectacular mountain journey mapped by the composer in his titanic Alpine Symphony.

Running time: 84 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“This is a rare case of visuals enhancing the listening experience, and the Vienna Philharmonic’s Strauss tradition is there for all to see. Thielemann doesn’t push or pull the music, but he is not a pretty sight: his left hand remains inexpressive...there is still no soprano I would rather hear in the soaring lines of “Traum durch die Dämmerung” and “Gesang der Apollopriesterin”.” Financial Times, 19th May 2012 ****

“You can immediately hear the classiness of the orchestral support...Thielemann's journey up the mountain is more a question of inner feeling than outward tone-painting...But the summit sequence and the epilogue rival Herbert von Karajan's Berlin Philharmonic for tonal opulence...the cameras always know what to pinpoint in order to highlight visually Strauss's most ingenious orchestral passages.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2012 *****

“Thielemann, whose reading is satisfyingly spacious, reveals the work's structural mastery in intermingling and transforming its many themes. The excellent video director Michael Beyer expertly lays out the orchestra in front of us, following the music sensibly so that we can relish Strauss's detailed scoring...[Fleming] sings gloriously and the result is ravishing” Gramophone Magazine

“it is more fun to actually see the players (kudos to video director Michael Beyer) than merely to listen...And no one will accuse the reading [of Ein Alpensinfonie] of not being exciting and the playing superb...In all, this is clearly a treat for Straussians and Fleming fans; she has been both better and worse, but overall, she's lovely here.” International Record Review, September 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray Choice - August 2012

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte - OABD7101D

(Blu-ray)

$27.25

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Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64


Presto CD

DG - 4398992

(Presto CD)

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Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Recorded 29/11/2007 Théatre des champs-Elysées


Kurt Masur is well known to London audiences as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic from 2000-2007. In September 2002, Mr. Masur became Music Director of the Orchestre National de France and from the beginning of the 2008/2009 season he assumed the title of Honorary Music Director for Life. Now, aged 82, he has commenced a new association with the Philharmonia Orchestra appearing as recently as February this year at the RFH. However he appears here with his ‘own’ orchestra, with whom he has made many successful recordings for Naïve, in Strauss’ mountain tale inspired by family snowfights at his home in Garmisch.

radio france - FRF005

(CD)

$15.00

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Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

DSD recording, live at the Barbican June 2008


LSO Live is thrilled to welcome Bernard Haitink back for his first recording with the LSO since his internationally acclaimed Beethoven cycle in 2006. Eine Alpensinfonie was recorded in June 2008 during Haitink’s Strauss/Mozart series with the LSO. In his Alpine Symphony Strauss recounts an attempt to conquer the summit of an Alpine mountain. He infuses the score with numerous instrumental colours and rich combinations of sounds, evoking the images and events that take place on the trek. It was to be one of his final large-scale orchestral works and shows the last great German Romantic composer at the pinnacle of his art. Haitink has also recorded Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the LSO and soloists Christianne Stotijn and Anthony Dean Griffey for release on LSO Live later in 2010. He will conduct the Royal Concergebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam during early-2010 followed in June 2010 by a complete Beethoven symphony cycle in concert with Chicago Symphony Orchestra. LSO Live’s other recent releases include Prokofiev’s complete score for the ballet Romeo & Juliette conducted by Valery Gergiev. In March the label releases Gergiev’s recording of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony.

“an outstanding performance of Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony. Rarely has the long haul to the summit seemed more purposeful. Haitink’s perfect control of the orchestral palette at sunrise and at dusk, as strands of colour rose out of and sank back into the dark monochrome contours, made this performance an incarnation of the music’s own metaphysical struggle and triumph” The Times

“He avoided the fashionable temptation to treat the vast score as an exercise in postmodern irony and presented it straightforwardly as a piece of tremendous late Romanticism” The Guardian

“This live recording of Strauss’s Nietzschean masterpiece [...] is thrilling in that simultaneously visceral and intellectual way that marks out Strauss. Haitink’s account [...] has immense grandeur.” Sunday Times, 24th January 2010 ***

“no-one has quite Haitink's sense of the piece as a rational symphonic argument...The performance gathers strength and intensity as it proceeds...Admirers should not hesitate to acquire an archetypal example of Haitink's unobtrusive podium manner.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

“There are so many good recordings of the Alpine Symphony on the market now, but this has moments that are as fine as any, and arguably the noblest overall shape of all.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2010 *****

“Haitink draws out lucid instrumental detail from Strauss’s complex combinations of timbres, establishing apt colours in the summoning of atmosphere...his natural feel for the music’s fluctuating pulse lends this momentous journey an ineluctable sense of purpose, direction and exhilaration.” The Telegraph, 24th March 2010 *****

“Haitink and the LSO give us a gripping, masterfully-paced account of this Alpine adventure. The climax of the storm is so shattering that it almost sounds as if parts of the Barbican are collapsing! Brass playing is stunning throughout: the trombones' pedal G as the protagonists reach the summit is worth the price of the disc alone!” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, April 2014

Presto Disc of the Week

22nd February 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2010

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Up to 30% off LSO Live

LSO Live - LSO0689

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Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie & Four Last Songs

Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie & Four Last Songs


Strauss, R:

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Vier letzte Lieder

Anja Harteros (soprano)


Sony - 88697558392

(CD)

$8.75

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