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Strauss: Don Quixote [Markus Stenz, Alban Gerhardt, Lawrence Power] [Hyperion: CDA67960]

Gürzenich-Orchester Köln , Markus Stenz , Alban Gerhardt , Lawrence Power , Richard Strauss Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Frequently Bought Together

Strauss: Don Quixote [Markus Stenz, Alban Gerhardt, Lawrence Power] [Hyperion: CDA67960] + Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring / Apollon Musagète / Symphonies of Wind Instruments + Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7, 'Leningrad' [Vasily Petrenko | RLPO] [Naxos: 8.573057]
Price For All Three: £27.33

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Product details

  • Conductor: Markus Stenz
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (2 April 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,014 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Don Quixote Op 35 | Introduction Mäßiges Zeitmaß [6'08]
2. Don Quixote Op 35 | Don Quixote, the knight of the sorrowful countenance Mäßig [0'55]
3. Don Quixote Op 35 | Sancho Panza Maggiore [1'02]
4. Don Quixote Op 35 | The adventures of the windmills Gemächlich [2'26]
5. Don Quixote Op 35 | The battle with the sheep Kriegerisch [1'37]
6. Don Quixote Op 35 | Dialogue between knight and servant Mäßiges Zeitmaß [7'28]
7. Don Quixote Op 35 | Unfortunate adventure with a procession of penitents Etwas breiter [1'46]
8. Don Quixote Op 35 | Don Quixotes vigil Sehr langsam [3'54]
9. Don Quixote Op 35 | Dulcineas enchantment Schnell [1'09]
10. Don Quixote Op 35 | Ride through the air Ein wenig ruhiger als vorher [1'09]
11. Don Quixote Op 35 | Ill-starred voyage on the enchanted boat (Barcarolle) Gemächlich [1'43]
12. Don Quixote Op 35 | Battle against the supposed enchanters Schnell und stürmisch [1'07]
13. Don Quixote Op 35 | Duel with the knight of the shining moon Viel breiter [4'07]
14. Don Quixote Op 35 | Finale | The death of Don Quixote Sehr ruhig [5'40]
15. Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche Op 28 [14'59]

Product Description

Product Description

Strauss’s ‘Fantastic variations on a theme of knightly character’, as Don Quixote is subtitled, is one of the composer’s most popular tone poems, principally because of the beautifully drawn central characters of the Don (performed by a solo cellist) and Sancho Panza (viola). These roles are luxuriously cast in this new recording, being taken by Hyperion artists Alban Gerhardt and Lawrence Power. The merry tale of Till Eulenspiegel completes this release.

The Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, the very orchestra which gave the premieres of both works in the 1890s, is conducted by Markus Stenz, who has held the position of Principal Conductor since 2003. He visited China with the orchestra in early 2008 and conducted their first ever BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in August 2008. In September 2010 he returned to China with the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Opera of Cologne to conduct the first ever production of Wagner’s ‘Ring’ in Shanghai. Among other posts he is Chief Guest Conductor of the Hallé.

Product Description

Alban Gerhardt, violoncelle - Lawrence Power, alto - Gürzenich-Orchester Köln - Markus Stenz, direction

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hubris and Humanity 14 April 2013
By Entartete Musik TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The Gürzenich Orchester Köln has singular claims on Richard Strauss's Don Quixote and Till Eulenspiegel; they premiered both works in the presence of the composer. Over a century on, under current Kapellmeister Markus Stenz's zesty direction, the orchestra's Straussian credentials remain strong. And with the composer's 150th anniversary on its way in 2014, we can only hope that recorded offerings will be as good as this one from Hyperion.

There's real swing to these performances, bringing much-needed bounce to the narratives. True to quixotic form, however, Don Quixote is emotionally rich, not least in the 'Dialogue between knight and servant'. Stenz is accorded two particularly fine participants in Alban Gerhardt and Lawrence Power. Their chamber-like interaction, fluent, mutually responsive, displays exact powers of communication.

The Gürzenich strings don't always live up to those high standards, with a tone that isn't quite as rich as you'd hope, but Stenz has a superb wind and brass team at hand, brilliantly exaggerating Strauss's pithy counterpoint. Throughout Stenz balances a cocktail of comedy and tragedy, contrasting the soloists' more improvisatory passages with the thrilling heft of fuller ensembles. The orchestral effects are given due colour, though the Barcarolle and the death of the Don are notably humane, making this so much more than a mere showcase.

But with Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Stenz and the Gürzenich Orchester really run riot. Played with appropriately swinging abandon - as well as ferocity when Till is sentenced to death - Strauss's not-always-quite-so-merry pranks show one of the composer's favourite orchestras in the very best light.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strauss the dreamer 6 May 2013
By M. D. Holley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Don Quixote is one of Strauss's most touching pieces. He identifies himself as the hopeless dreamer who keeps falling flat on his face (Ein Heldenleben, the companion piece to Don Quixote, makes this clear by repeatedly quoting Don Quixote whenever things don't work out). In this self identification, he reveals his own vulnerability, and his determination to pick himself up and go on dreaming despite the disasters.

This release is a very good one. The sound (I listened on the studio master download) is absolutely outstanding. It feels as if the solo cello and the solo viola are actually in the room with you! The characterisation of both solo protagonists is exceptional - I love the way they keep interrupting each other in the argument of Variation 3, which comes across better here than I have heard elsewhere. The vigour with which Quixote embarks on each adventure, and the dreaminess whenever the Dulcinea tune comes (Variation 5 for example), are wonderfully done.

The wayward counterpoint is brought to the fore in this performance, and is enhanced because of the incredibly clear recording. As a result the 'losing his sanity' section of the Introduction is superb, and I heard all sorts of detail which I hadn't noticed before.

The final cello solo leading to Don Quixote's death is very moving here bringing tears to the eye. Highly recommended!

One comment for Amazon - it is a pity you only offer the download in a poor quality, compressed, sound. This recording absolutely requires high resolution sound quality, and I am sure you would sell a lot more if you offered this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding but still not perfect 18 May 2013
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I found my previous recording of Quixote rather bland (Maazel) and Isserlis fine but a little remote. This is the opposite. Exciting conducting, more orchestral detail than I have ever heard before and fine soloists, if a little closer than you would hear in the concert hall. Well worth exploring if you don't already have 10 versions of Till Eulenspiegel, which is very well performed and interpreted.
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