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Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan

8 customer reviews

Price: £10.62 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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GUSTAVO DUDAMEL – A BIOGRAPHICAL TIMELINE
“When Dudamel is up on the podium, he truly is ‘inside’ the music. It courses in his veins, mixing with his blood.”
Los Angeles Times, January 2010
Born on 26 January 1981 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Gustavo Dudamel was ten when he took up the violin, and soon was also studying composition. In 1996, he began his ... Read more in Amazon's Gustavo Dudamel Store

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Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan + Mahler Symphony No.9
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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00D2MC8WG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,729 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prelude (Sonnenaufgang)
2. Von den Hinterweltlern
3. Von der großen Sehnsucht
4. Von den Freuden und Leidenschaften
5. Das Grablied
6. Von der Wissenschaft
7. Der Genesende
8. Das Tanzlied
9. Das Nachtwandlerlied
10. Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks (Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche), Op. 28
11. Don Juan, Op.20

Product Description

DGG 4791041; DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON - Germania; Classica Orchestrale

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Gustavo Dudamel has made a big splash on the international music scene and has fostered a great relationship with the Berlin Phil as a favored guest conductor. Despite his reputation as a dazzling showman, it's been thrilling to follow Dudamel as he blossoms into a startlingly mature conductor. Earlier this year we heard a great Mahler 9th from Los Angeles that had the all the commitment of a skilled veteran.

Actually, it's about time to stop viewing Dudamel as up-and-coming and acknowledge that he's already arrived. As a sad commentary on the state of the recording industry, very few discs from guest conductors have been released at Berlin during Simon Rattle's tenure. (EMI wasn't generous with Rattle, either.) Now that we finally can hear Dudamel at the helm of this great orchestra, we hear how masterly he truly is. It must be a temptation for a young maestro to be enamored in the sound of the Berliners and forget to deliver an actual interpretation. But Dudamel conducts with authority that gives no hint of a need to grow. He produces a wonderful, rich sound that brings out the individuality of the Berliners, yet there's no pretentiousness or fussiness. His control is truly captivating.

Karajan was a great exponent of Strauss, with a particularly gripping reading of Also Sprach Zarathustra on Decca with the Vienna Phil, but neither Abbado or Rattle have recorded it. Dudamel has the advantage of impeccable modern sound from DG which produces maximum impact. The thrill of hearing the most dazzling virtuosos in the world give their all is twice as mesmerizing when we feel we can hear each individual instrument no matter how crushing the total volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon on 2 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathurstra is less a philosophical treatise and more like dynamite. Its impact is seismic. It's akin (in the very least) to Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle-Church in Wittenberg. Witness the following:

"I teach you the Superman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him? All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the Superman: a laughing-stock or a painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape. . . . Behold, I teach you the Superman! The Superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the Superman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go!"

This is the re-evaluation of all values, top to bottom. Surely it warrants tension in the act of delivery, even if the message be transmitted through Richard Strauss?

For all the incidental beauties of the Berlin Philharmonic, that's what I find missing here in the Dude's performance: tension - namely, a deep-set awareness that this manifesto is dangerous and for better or worse, it's going to change the world forever.

Karajan '73 delivers it in spades.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. S. CROWE TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Oct. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Gustavo Dudamel has received, deservedly, universal acclaim for his work with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in his native Venezuela. The social implications of the enlightened project that led to its creation have been immense, and the lessons learned have resonated throughout the world.
If we are brutally honest, when it comes to that particular orchestra Dr. Samuel Johnson's famous remark about having seen a dog dancing on its hind legs is appropriate, that being" the issue is not how well it was done, but that it was done at all".
In an era when so many conductors are "faceless", Dudamel's engaging personality is a welcome relief, but a major component of the key to great conducting is being able to inspire the musicians to translate the personality of the conductor into their playing as much as into the interpretation.

Any conductor who tackles Strauss tone poems in Berlin is potentially on a hiding to nothing as the spectre of Karajan hovers malevolently over the proceedings. Just as in Cleveland with Szell, no matter who conducts these works in Berlin, Karajan always gets a review!
Whatever one's opinion of Karajan as an interpreter, it is beyond question that his performances of Strauss were infused with HIS personality, which was manifested in the intensity of the playing, each individual note being played through and an atmosphere of tension relieved by ecstasy particularly in Zarathustra, which with Don Quixote is the most challenging of the Strauss tone poems to bring off, needing careful balancing between darkness and light and especially careful avoidance of the traps that can lead to musical longeurs.

I'm sorry to say that the word to best sum up this performance of Zarathustra is flaccid.
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