R Strauss - Ein Heldenleben, Macbeth
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Cat No: PTC5186582
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 18th November 2016
ArtistsFrankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
These gripping works, with their intricate scoring and compelling narratives, are orchestral tours de force, demonstrating Strauss’s gift for filling a huge orchestral canvas with vivid and exquisite details while maintaining a sense of drama. And they are stunningly brought to life in this recording with Pentatone’s state of the art multi-channel surround sound.
Strauss’s brooding tone poem Macbeth is a psychological portrait of the main protagonists in the play, the insecure and vacillating Macbeth and his wife, the ambitious but deranged Lady Macbeth. Strauss’s often highly charged score suggests the mounting horror and dread of the ill-fated couple and their domestic unease, the work ending on a sombre note following their deaths and the triumphal march of Macduff.
In Strauss’s striking and florid masterpiece Ein Heldenleben, there’s little doubt who the real hero is but Strauss himself. While he was roundly mocked at the time for his audacity, there’s also little doubt that this bold and dramatic tone poem is no mere cornucopia of orchestral effects; it’s a life-affirming work which ends not in a triumphal blaze, but in a mood of quiet resignation.
This is Orozco-Estrada’s fourth recording for Pentatone. His first recording, the Stravinsky ballets The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, was praised by Gramophone for his ability to “unearth an astonishing amount of detail at relatively spacious tempi” and for “Pentatone’s awesomely precise recording”. His two discs of Dvořák symphonies received similar acclaim: “Vivid and colourful, overall well balanced” (Pizzicato) “an interpretation full of theatricality, with a sure sense of the monumental” (Gramophone).
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