Magazine article Gramophone

R Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op 64

Magazine article Gramophone

R Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op 64

Article excerpt

R Strauss

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op 64

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra /Andres Orozco-Estrada

Pentatone (F) [SACD] PTC5186 628 (56' * DDD/DSD)

This is the third Richard Strauss release from Andres Orozco-Estrada and his Frankfurt orchestra on Pentatone. I enjoyed their Heldenleben and Macbeth (11/16), and their Salome showed the Columbian to be a fascinating and often compelling Straussian. The impression is reinforced by this moving new Alpensinfonie. Orozco-Estrada favours an expansive approach: at over 55 minutes, this is one of the very longest performances on record. Again, there's a smoothness in the playing and in Pentatone's warm, detailed engineering that risks robbing the score of some of its vividness: these Alps are massive, certainly, but perhaps a little short on cragginess.

After a grandly imposing sunrise, some of the score's early stages can also initially feel a little leisurely (there's not much urgency when we get to the 'Eintritt zum Wald', for example) or a little safe. But Orozco-Estrada conjures up the work's many images vividly, and can step on the accelerator excitingly, as in the lead-up to a sparklingly fresh 'Wasserfall'. Again, 'Durch Dickicht und Gestrupp' feels a little studied at first, but the tension is built up well as we approach the Glacier itself, which sounds properly formidable. The subsequent 'Gefahrvolle Augenblicke' are reminiscent of this team's excellent Salome in their dramatic vividness. …

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