ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS
RICHARD STRAUSS - EINE ALPENSINFONIE (AN ALPINE SYMPHONY)


RICHARD STRAUSS - EINE ALPENSINFONIE (AN ALPINE SYMPHONY) - ANTONI WIT (Conductor) - STAATSKAPELLE WEIMAR - NAXOS 8.557811

An impressive recording of the Alpine Symphony at a budget price. It goes to show that you do not have to dig deep in your pockets to scale the heights.

This work is scored for a very large orchestra, including multiple brass and woodwind instruments, cow bells, a huge percussion section, a pipe organ, and wind and thunder machines. It is an expansive and dramatic tone-poem depicting a day's hike through the mountains from sunrise to nightfall. To me, it also represents a man's journey through life, from birth through to adolescence, maturity, the peak of his life, struggles and conflicts, followed by the slow decline of old age, fond memories of life and ending with death depicted by nightfall.

Strauss divided the piece into 22 aptly named sections, so you always know where you are within the journey, be it the ascent, walking through pastures, reaching the summit, the thunderstorm, the sunset...Reaching the summit is one of the most spectacular and uplifting moments in music, with a majestic theme and perfect orchestration. The conductor and orchestra are in great form here and are supported by yet another top-notch sound recording by Naxos.

Jean-Yves Duperron