From the opening Horn Concerto, this Straussian rendering of his wind compositions is simply put, exhilirating listening! I can't get enough of hearing it, and I propose that likely many of you music conisseurs will as well. Recorded by members of the famed Chicago Symphony, it is very well done.
This collection features five compositions, his Horn Concerto No. 1 in E flat major and a second horn piece, this a Andante for Horn and Piano. As Strauss' father was a renown horn player himself and young Richard was made to accompany him at home much on the piano, that these pieces were of special import to him.
Dale Clevenger provides the solo work here, done with richness of tone and gusto in phrasing. I become enchanted more with the Horn Concerto with each listening. A great opener to this strong CD.
Next comes my favorite piece, even though I am partial to oboe numbers. This delightful Duet-Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon is magnificently rendered by Larry Combs and David McGill. It bubbles and percolates with brilliant exhanges between the two instruments. Seductive and subtle, with magnificent light string accompanyment, this truly has become my favorite piece.
The Oboe Concerto was inspired by a visiting American oboeist, John deLancie. Amazingly, deLancie of the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Orchestras, only played this piece once, at Interlochen, Michigan with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. It is demanding for the oboeist, requiring 57 solid measures without rest. Strauss reputedly recommended a mechanical breathing device for this, however, contemporary oboeists insist on overcoming the breathing issue with circular breathing. Here Alex Klein proves his rating as one of tops in the world with a brilliant sinuous and lovely expression. The gentle Adante finish with its subdivision of beats results in a brilliant finish.
A lover and collector of such Concertos, I am delighted to have discovered this one which has captivated my listening and will yours.