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R Strauss: Concertos


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R Strauss: Concertos + Barry Tuckwell Plays Horn Concertos
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Product details

  • Performer: Friedrich Gulda, Boris Belkin, Gordon Hunt, Dimitri Ashkenazy
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Barry Tuckwell, István Kertész, Anthony Collins, Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Composer: Richard Strauss, Franz Joseph Strauss
  • Audio CD (24 Mar. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Double Decca
  • ASIN: B00000IX7U
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,944 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. R. Strauss: Horn Concerto No.1 in E flat, Op.11 - AllegroLondon Symphony Orchestra 5:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. R. Strauss: Horn Concerto No.1 in E flat, Op.11 - AndanteLondon Symphony Orchestra 5:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. R. Strauss: Horn Concerto No.1 in E flat, Op.11 - Allegro-Rondo (Allegro)London Symphony Orchestra 4:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. F.Strauss: Horn Concerto, Op.8 - 1. Allegro moltoLondon Symphony Orchestra 6:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. F.Strauss: Horn Concerto, Op.8 - 2. AndanteLondon Symphony Orchestra 3:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. F.Strauss: Horn Concerto, Op.8 - 3. Allegro moltoLondon Symphony Orchestra 4:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. R. Strauss: Horn Concerto No.2 in E flat - Allegro non troppoLondon Symphony Orchestra 9:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. R. Strauss: Horn Concerto No.2 in E flat - Andante con motoLondon Symphony Orchestra 5:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. R. Strauss: Horn Concerto No.2 in E flat - Rondo (Allegro molto)London Symphony Orchestra 5:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. R. Strauss: Burleske in D minor, for piano and orchestra (1885-6)London Symphony Orchestra17:54£2.29  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. R. Strauss: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op.8 - 1. AllegroBoris Belkin15:57£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. R. Strauss: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op.8 - 2. Lento ma non troppoBoris Belkin 7:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. R. Strauss: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op.8 - 3. Rondo: PrestoBoris Belkin 8:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. R. Strauss: Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra in D major - 1. Allegro moderatoVladimir Ashkenazy 8:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. R. Strauss: Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra in D major - 2. AndanteVladimir Ashkenazy 8:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. R. Strauss: Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra in D major - 3. Vivace - AllegroVladimir Ashkenazy 7:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. R. Strauss: Duet-Concertino for clarinet & bassoon - 1. Allegro moderatoKim Walker 6:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. R. Strauss: Duet-Concertino for clarinet & bassoon - 2. AndanteKim Walker 3:08£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. R. Strauss: Duet-Concertino for clarinet & bassoon - 3. RondoKim Walker 9:56£0.79  Buy MP3 

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Richard Strauss's two periods of concerto composing came early and late in his career. These two discs contain any of it that I have heard of, from the violin concerto written in his teens together with the first horn concerto and the piano Burleske representing the first phase, and then the second horn concerto and the oboe concerto dating from WWII followed by the Duett-concertino from a couple of years after. That work was his last instrumental composition, and it might be more appropriate to change the biographical time-scale from year to day as Strauss himself does in the Four Last Songs and place it in his hours of Abendroth and Schlafengehen. And there is a bonus as well in the form of the horn concerto by Richard Strauss's father, himself a horn player of distinction. This piece deserves better than the slightly supercilious assessment that it is given by the liner-note writer, it tells me where Richard Strauss got his talent from, and it is a very welcome addition to my own collection.

The recordings date originally from a period covering nearly 40 years. I find no problem with any of them, but I had better try to give you some idea of what I have no problem with, because I have seen the recorded sound in the Burleske criticised sharply. I would have been surprised if it had been bad simply because the conductor is Anthony Collins who had a way of obtaining good recorded quality even in the far-off era of 1967. I don't suppose I listened in any hyper-critical way, because I had a reason for being far more interested in the performance, but I remain unfazed by the supposed faults, and it may be that some copies of the set are better than others, in which case any prospective buyer would be well advised to check the matter out first.
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By J. Y. Wong on 1 April 2015
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Superb!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
FRUEHLING AND SEPTEMBER 21 Mar. 2010
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Richard Strauss's two periods of concerto composing came early and late in his career. These two discs contain any of it that I have heard of, from the violin concerto written in his teens together with the first horn concerto and the piano Burleske representing the first phase, and then the second horn concerto and the oboe concerto dating from WWII followed by the Duett-concertino from a couple of years after. That work was his last instrumental composition, and it might be more appropriate to change the biographical time-scale from year to day as Strauss himself does in the Four Last Songs and place it in his hours of Abendroth and Schlafengehen. And there is a bonus as well in the form of the horn concerto by Richard Strauss's father, himself a horn player of distinction. This piece deserves better than the slightly supercilious assessment that it is given by the liner-note writer, it tells me where Richard Strauss got his talent from, and it is a very welcome addition to my own collection.

The recordings date originally from a period covering nearly 40 years. I find no problem with any of them, but I had better try to give you some idea of what I have no problem with, because I have seen the recorded sound in the Burleske criticised sharply. I would have been surprised if it had been bad simply because the conductor is Anthony Collins who had a way of obtaining good recorded quality even in the far-off era of 1967. I don't suppose I listened in any hyper-critical way, because I had a reason for being far more interested in the performance, but I remain unfazed by the supposed faults, and it may be that some copies of the set are better than others, in which case any prospective buyer would be well advised to check the matter out first. If I have a criticism of the sound at all, it would be that it is just a tad bland and inoffensive in the Duett-concertino, which was recorded under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy as recently as 1993. However the violin concerto and the oboe concerto are from the same source, and the sound is well up to letting me enjoy the sheer beauty of both, beauty in the performances mirroring the exquisite lyricism of the creative inspiration. When you learn that the violin soloist is Boris Belkin that will be no surprise to you, and if the oboist Gordon Hunt is new to you let me report that I was enchanted by his flexible and long-breathed phrasing, doing justice to the wistful undertones of the first movement as well as to the haunting sweet-and-sour idiom of the finale.

Back in 1955 when the horn concertos were committed to disc it was standard to place soloists in the foreground. The battle for a more realistic balance was long and hard although won eventually, but there was a time and place for everything and I love the first concerto here with Tuckwell dominating the sound. It suits this piece, it suits this soloist's manner, and for these reasons it suits me down to the ground. The effect is less marked in the other two concertos, so I'm inclined to think that Tuckwell and Kertesz sought the type of balance that they are given in the first concerto by conscious choice. Heldenhorn extroversion is the name of the game in my opinion.

I am particularly pleased to have this account of the Burleske by Gulda, because it is in admirable counterpoise to the high-octane performance by Rudolf Serkin that I have enjoyed for so long. Serkin is thrilling and no two ways about that. What he gives us is the super-fit and ultra-confident young athlete of the Alpine Symphony. However this is Strauss, and my idea of Strauss is less hard-edged. Gulda is admirably lively himself, but he socks it to us just a little bit less, and I noticed with interest that his timing is only about half a minute longer than Serkin's. Half a minute more over a piece lasting 17 or 18 minutes is not dawdling, and I sense I am going to like this more and more as I get used to it. I have yet to be put off by the recorded sound, and may that day be long in coming.

The sheer attractiveness of the music is what should sell this pair of discs. Strauss was the last of the great German romantic melodists, outliving Elgar (whom we can put in this category for the moment) by more than a decade. With neither of them is there any sense of defying new trends or of making any kind of statement in their confident and natural melodic inspiration. They did it because they could. Schoenberg felt that the late romantic idiom was played out, and if his Pelleas & Melisande is what the late romantic idiom meant to him I would have had to agree. Even in Elgar there is a strong tone of neurosis, but with Strauss extroversion ruled right up until the end, for all the sense of the encroaching shadows that he conveys so beautifully. He does a lot to make old age tolerable, and I bless his memory.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great Music & Performances 27 April 2011
By C. Malone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Both CDs in this set contain pieces by R. Strauss or his father that aren't heard very often, at least in my experience. I found the music and all the performances on these 2 CDs to be very good and enjoyable to listen to, not only because they are well-played, but because before listening to them I'd heard these pieces very rarely if at all, and they are refreshingly new to my ears. I also like the variety of solo instruments featured.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Music for Super Heroes 14 Mar. 2013
By Giordano Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Richard Strauss (1864-1949) had the musical brain of a super-genius and the soul of a comic book super hero, making him the perfect composer for solo concertos. [Go on, hate me for that judgment, but who else could have composed Ein Heldenleben and dedicated it to himself?] The concerto genre is innately all about super hero instruments, adulated or derided by the orchestras that support them. It's odd that Strauss wrote so few concertos, considering the brilliance of those recorded here. The second horn concerto of 1942, the oboe concerto of 1945, and the duet-concerto for clarinet/bassoon are outstanding works from Strauss's maturity, while the first horn concerto and the violin concerto, both of 1882, are youthful works of astounding precocity. From 1882 to 1942, there were no full concertos, simply a single "Burleske for piano and orchestra" and two fantasies for piano left hand and orchestra, dedicated to Paul Wittgenstein. Oh well, we have to be grateful that Strauss survived his years of acquiescence to the Nazi regime and learned to compose the Oboe Concerto in D major and the Duett-Concertino, the former being to my ears his finest work.

The slang term "killer" - meaning thrillingly good - is already passé, I suppose, but it fits the Oboe Concerto in D major in several senses. It's "killer" good and it's a notorious chop-killer, possibly the most difficult work in the oboe repertoire, because of its fiendishly extended legato phrases. Tragically, just a few weeks ago, the principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony collapsed on stage while performing this concerto for the third or fourth night straight. The news of his death, a few days later, has haunted me ever since. Oboist Gordon Hunt performs it so fluently on this CD that listeners may not realize how challenging the piece is. The oboe plays almost continuously for twenty-five minutes, during which heroic attention must be paid to breath control and placement of breaths. There's almost NO place to breathe! I've heard that Strauss had some kooky notion of the development of a mechanical air pump that would supplement the oboist's natural lung power. For wind players in general, breath control is the Gold Standard of technique, the heart of the art, upon which phrasing depends. Gordon Hunt breathes and thus phrases impeccably.

Horn players! Sorry, friends, but although Strauss's father Franz was a virtuosic horn player, Strauss saved his best music for the double reeds. :-) After his Oboe Concerto came his delightful and original Duett-Concerto for clarinet and bassoon, a piece like no other, possibly intended as a musical narrative with the clarinet in the role of a Princess and the bassoon in the role of a Bear who eventually transforms into a Prince. Frankly, I don't "hear" that narrative but I adore the bassoon part. The Horn Concerto #2 in E flat major exploits the hunter/heroic Dark Forest romance of the horn timbre. It's a first class chop-buster as well, but hornist Barry Tuckwell masters its challenges. To my ears, he mutes and muffles with his right hand a shade too steadily, and the music per se veers too often toward bandshell schmaltz. Okay, okay, I know that's a matter of taste. I'm biased toward the reeds. It's indisputably one of the greatest horn concertos in the repertoire.

That can't honestly be said about the Violin Concerto that Strauss wrote at age 18. It's a well-made concerto that sounds more like Mendelssohn than like the mature Strauss. It's more lyrical than flamboyant, aesthetically pleasing to hear but hardly memorable. Boris Belkin plays it with warmth and delicacy, and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy builds his orchestral interpretation in sympathy to that lyricism.

There are two CDs here, two orchestras and two conductors. The first CD includes Strauss's two horn concertos, a brief horn concerto composed by father Franz Strauss, and the Burleske for piano and orchestra, all with the London Symphony Orchestra. The second CD features the Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, conducted by Ashkenazy. CD 1 is a re-release of recordings made in 1954 and 1966. CD 2 was produced in 1991. The difference in "vintage" probably accounts for the slightly better sound quality, and perhaps the better orchestral musicianship, of the concertos for oboe, violin, and clarinet/bassoon.
9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Poor recording quality 12 Jan. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
While the interpretation of these pieces are just fine--very good even--the impact is totally ruined by the poor recording quality, particularily on the Burleske. Hissing is loud and grainy, echos blur the sound together, and little pops and clicks are alarmingly common. If you care to rip the tracks and remaster them manually then this CD is worth your time, especially for the horn concertos, since the Herman Baumann versions of the horn concertos are very hard to find now, especially the second. If you just want the CD for a CD player, then I recommend finding another CD.
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