Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Op 40; Don Juan, Op 20

classicalear.co.uk
Andrew Achenbach
7.03.2017


Phrases are shaped, inner voices probed and details sifted with unfailing imagination, innate good taste and gratifying sensitivity, and there are many uncommonly fine solo contributions to admire throughout.

Paavo Järvi's new Richard Strauss series for RCA with the NHK Symphony Orchestra is launched in handsome style with a ripely engineered Don Juan (excellent, biting timps at the outset) that lacks nothing in shapely poise, voluptuous allure (marvellous work from the principal oboe in the reflective central episode) or giddy swagger. Indeed, both here and in the nobly unforced and enviably purposeful account of Ein Heldenleben which follows, one is reminded (as the conductor himself shrewdly observes in the booklet) that the Tokyo orchestra have performed this repertoire many times under the guest leadership of such distinguished Straussians as Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein and Otmar Suitner. Järvi and his scrupulously prepared band bring genuine dedication, intoxicating sweep and infectious spirit to Strauss's ambitious canvas. Phrases are shaped, inner voices probed and details sifted with unfailing imagination, innate good taste and gratifying sensitivity, and there are many uncommonly fine solo contributions to admire throughout, not least from concertmaster Fuminori Maro Shinozaki in the role of the composer's wife, Pauline. Altogether most rewarding music-making, then, excitingly captured on the wing from two concerts in Tokyo's Suntory Hall during February 2015.
http://classicalear.co.uk/posts/ZTNjZTU0ZTU5MjBkOGU

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