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R. Strauss: Don Juan; Tod und Verklärung; Till Eulenspiegel lustige Streiche; Four Last Songs / Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano

Album Summary

>Strauss, Richard : Don Juan, Op. 20
>Strauss, Richard : Tod und Verklarung, Op. 24
>Strauss, Richard : Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28
>Strauss, Richard : Four Last Songs, AV 150
Performer Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This SACD release, part of Praga's Reminiscences series of remastered historic recordings, features music of Richard Strauss. Wilhelm Furtwängler leads the Vienna Philharmonic in the composer's tone poems Don Juan, Tod und Verkärung and Till Eulenspiegel. Soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf is the soloist in an early recording of the Vier letzte Lieder, accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra led by Otto Ackermann under the supervision of Walter Legge. This homage to Richard Strauss on the occasion of his 150th anniversary is an essential release for collectors.

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
This release is worthy of the highest recommendation. The tone poems are all late FurtwSngler, studio recordings he did for EMI in the early 1950s. To be exact Don Juan and Till date from March 1954, D&T from March 1950. Many collectors have preferred FurtwSngler's earlier concert performances, generally with Berlin, because of their extra excitement and spontaneity. What sets these apart from earlier releases of these studio performances is the extraordinarily fine sound, which is remarkably clear and full with no extra noise of any consequence at all. Schwarzkopf made two well-known recordings of the Four Last Songs, this one with Ackermann in 1953 and 12 years later a stereo job with Szell. The second recording is splendid in its own right. This one is more youthful in tone, a bit fresher in spirit, and at climactic moments simply thrilling in its beauty and power. I've known this performance for nearly 50 years, and it still brings tears, particularly in this splendid sound. You should have it (and the later one, too). Do you have any recordings that are so wonderful you keep nudging up the volume? This is one of those. If the fireman is at the door telling me I have 60 seconds to grab a few things, this'll be one of them.



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Works Details

>Strauss, Richard : Don Juan, Op. 20
  • Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Musikvereinsaal, Vienna, Austria (03/02/1954/03/03/1954)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1888-1889

>Strauss, Richard : Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24
  • Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler
  • Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Notes: Musikvereinsaal, Vienna, Austria (1950-03-21&1950-03-23_1950-)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1888-1889

>Strauss, Richard : Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28
  • Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler
  • Running Time: 16 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1894-1895

>Strauss, Richard : Four Last Songs, AV 150
  • Performer: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
  • Conductor: Otto Ackermann
  • Running Time: 19 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1948