R Strauss - Don Juan, Ein Heldenleben
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Cat No: LPO0079
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 1st September 2014
ArtistsLondon Philharmonic Orchestra
As the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Principal Conductor from 1967–79, Bernard Haitink presided over some of the Orchestra’s most memorable and acclaimed performances.
Richard Strauss was only 25 years old when his tone-poem Don Juan was premiered in 1889, and it was this vivid depiction of a young man’s relentless pursuit that launched the composer’s reputation as master of the genre. Composed ten years later, Ein Heldenleben recounts another life of conquest and passion, this time based on that of the composer himself. Both works exhibit the glorious orchestral colours and exhilarating energy that were to become the composer’s most admired hallmarks.
Haitink has had a long association on record and in concert with the music of Richard Strauss. His 1970 recording of Ein Heldenleben for Philips was long considered one of the best in the catalogue, but is no longer available.
These two concert recordings are both archetypal examples of Haitink’s renowned unobtrusive podium manner. The concert environment of Don Juan gives the performance a delightful spontaneity, and his approach in Ein Heldenleben is lighter in texture than most, allowing the listener to hear clearly, for example when the cellos double the horns as the main theme evolves.
This disc is dedicated to the memory of Nicholas Busch, LPO Principal Horn from 1973 to 2006, who features prominently in these works, vividly evoking the hero of Ein Heldenleben.
Don Juan: recorded live by the LPO at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London, on 3 December 1992.
Ein Heldenleben: recorded live by the BBC at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 29 August 1986.
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