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R Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie [An Alpine Symphony] CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • R Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie [An Alpine Symphony]
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  • Richard Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra / Till Eulenspiegels / Don Juan / Salome (DG The Originals)
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  • Richard Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, Metamorphosen, Vier letzte Lieder (DG The Originals)
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Product details

  • Conductor: Herbert Von Karajan
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (5 April 1993)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GK2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,265 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Nacht
  2. Sonnenaufgang
  3. Der Anstieg
  4. Eintritt in den Wald
  5. Wanderung neben dem Bache
  6. Am Wasserfall
  7. Erscheinung
  8. Auf blumige Wiesen
  9. Auf der Alm
  10. Durch Dickicht und Gestrüpp auf Irrwegen
  11. Auf dem Gletscher
  12. Gefahrvolle Augenblicke
  13. Auf dem Gipfel
  14. Vision
  15. Nebel steigen auf
  16. Die Sonne verdüstert sich allmählich
  17. Elegie
  18. Stille vor dem Sturm - Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan, David Bell
  19. Gewitter und Sturm, Abstieg
  20. Sonnenuntergang
  21. Ausklang
  22. Nacht

Product Description

KARAJAN HERBERT VON / BERLIN P

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 8 July 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is an amazing recording of a thrilling and underrated symphonic poem. The incredible sonorities which Karajan extracts from the Berlin Philharmonic are a joy to behold. The work features highlights which rank with the best of any of his orchestral compositions.
The depiction of the sunrise that opens the work recalls the power of the famous introduction to Also Sprach Zarathustra. The 20 descriptive episodes that follow fill the listener with a tremendous sense of adventure. The awesome climaxes which Karajan and the BPO generate during the 'On the summit' and 'Vision' sections may just blow your socks off. After the lyrical 'Sunset' and 'Epilogue' sections the work closes where it began: in the hushed and shadowy sound-world of night.
I would whole-heartedly recommend this recording to anyone with an interest in Strauss, or the genre of the symphonic poem. The recording itself cannot be faulted.
Most music reference books do not list An Alpine Symphony as a recommended work. It has been criticised as a piece that is more a succession of highlights rather than an integrated work. I feel this is unfair as the same argument could be levelled at many of Strauss's symphonic poems given the descriptive depth of detail contained in the music which often portrays vastly differing episodes in the programme, frequently in succession (surely Don Quixote, Ein Heldenleben and Also Sprach Zarathustra suffer from the same problems?).
I urge you to listen to An Alpine Symphony and make up your own mind. In my opinion this work - like the remainder of Strauss's symphonic poems - is one of continued inspiration and invention. And with Karajan on top form with the BPO, this is truly an unforgettable sound odyssey.
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Format: Audio CD
Recorded in 1981, this is the best version of this five-star work I possess. The murmurings in the deep bass prior to the dawn seem clearer that in my other versions, so that I can hear such things as solo tremolo strings in the mix. There is a blazing sunrise, but the cellos then sound a little tinny once the ascent commences. Perhaps the sound is constrained by the 1980s technology. The hunting horns, however, sound wonderful.

Not everything is perfect. The brass leading up to the waterfall sound strangely winded and there are bum notes here and there. The view from the summit is stupendous, but again one senses some restraint in the sound. The trumpet solo is wonderfully well to the fore in the `Vision' section. The storm is scarily dramatic and the sunset rightfully rich. The epilogue is beautifully played.

This may be the best interpretation in my collection, but it is well over twenty years old now and there is room for improvement. I am seeking a broader vision that I have yet to hear on CD. Nonetheless, for now, this one is the one I will pull out of the collection if I want to go hiking in the Alps.
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Format: Audio CD
There are more violent Alpine journeys by Solti, Ashkenazy and Mravinsky, but this monumental recording by Karajan/BPO is the one I always come back to, for its rarified beauty, incomparable atmosphere, and the sheer sublimity of the music making. If you love Strauss' tone poems, this is definitely a must-buy alongside Haitink's towering, noble account of the same work.

It's a shame that this Karajan Gold reissue has lost some of the magical atmosphere of the very first original issue, while enhancing clarity of the sound.
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By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 Jan. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The status of this recording as one of the earliest digital classics was initially compromised by the shrill, shallow sound which made the violins shriek and was literally a pain in the ears; since then, it has been happily remastered to surprisingly satisfactory effect, which allows this recording to reclaim its spot. I don't usually subscribe to the "best ever" mentality but just a few recordings merit that title and this remains the most spectacular of all accounts of this show-off tone poem.

An atmosphere of profound mystery is established from the start by the bassoons and double bases growling above the strings' sustained F in the B minor cluster, resolving to B flat major chord then a glorious A major diapason depicting the sunrise. In fact there are so many such moments in this account that it would be superfluous to detail them all, but to mention one at random, "On the summit" is simply overwhelming with its aureate brass, stringendo strings and extraordinary sonorities. The whole recording is just one grand, astounding sweep of virtuosic playing from the BPO and Das Wunder Karajan is in full control without in any sense stifling the rapture of their sound or the virulence of their attack.

It belongs in the collection of every Strauss aficionado.
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Format: Audio CD
There is only on thing to do with this CD: turn your hifi as loud as you can bear and submit yourself to probably the most thrilling experience ever achieved in audio. Awesome is an overused word but that is how it is when that sun rises ! Listening to the the BPO at full pelt is like being strapped to a Saturn 5 rocket and descending the Matterhorn in a nose first lube at the same time. There are many other wonders along the way including the most terrifying moment in "The Vision". It feels like Karajan is pushing us into some truly frightening crevasse as the BPO's strings scare the living daylights out of you in a breathtaking climax that you fear and hope will never end. It is the first time I have felt like hiding behind my chair since I saw the Daleks. My only reservation comes in the later quieter passages where the woodwind sound exhausted. Well, who wouldnt be ! This has to be heard to be believed. So strap those tennis rackets on and burnish your crampons - you sure gonna need 'em !
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