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Strauss: Symphony No. 2 in F minor; Six Songs; Romanze for Cello and Orchestra CD

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Conductor: Neeme Jrvi
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (6 Sept. 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B0002X4TUW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,451 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Format: Audio CD
Strauss (1864-1949) had an early period, his "teen years" (1880-1884) when he wrote several wonderful and much neglected paces. The first horn concerto and piano sonata come from this period and are often performed. However, the rest are largely forgotten. Partly this is because of Strauss himself: he moved on to become Europe's leading avant garde composer a decade later with his masterpieces such as Zarathustra, Heldenleben and Salome. In his teen years he was more in the mold of the German classical tradition - Mendelsohn, Bruch, Brahms. He dismissed his own early works. However, looking back 130 years later, these pieces can be seen in a new light. This is one of the best: written in 1883-4 (the year before Brahms 4th). It is a spirited piece full of drama. Whilst the musical language of the mature Strauss is rarely glimpsed in this piece, his ability to tell a story and endless inventiveness are just as present here as in Til Eulenspiegel or Der Rosenkavalier. The Romance for Cello is from the same period: whilst it is well known to cellists as a piano accompanied piece, here is a rare chance to hear it as it was originally written for cello and orchestra. There are also six songs from the mature Strauss. For me, it is remarkable how good the orchestration of this piece is. Many composers never get this good: Strauss's command of the orchestra is that of a mature master, not a 19 year old.

Overall, this is a very worthwhile CD: Jaarvi and the SNO provide a wonderful performance. A footnote. check out the first symphony in D minor from 1880. This is also well worth a listen: written when he was just 16! Also, the violin concerto he finished just before the second symphony.
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