Instrumental suites of extracts have existed for some of the operas of Richard Strauss, and several new releases in the mid-2010s have filled in the gaps for those who lacked them. The new ingredient here is the suite from Ariadne auf Naxos (she was on the Naxos label way back in the day) by D. Wilson Ochoa, commissioned by Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony in 2010 but apparently recorded here for the first time. The opera is lyrical rather than tragic, and Ochoa wisely focuses on extracting some big tunes and connecting them economically rather than packing in too much detail. Sample Ariadne's aria Es gibt ein Reich, which makes the transition effortlessly to an instrumental melody. The Ariadne suite is paired with Strauss' own Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Op. 60: not an opera but a set of incidental music for a Molière comedy that was easily pared down to the nine sparkling numbers heard here. The performances by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra are all that could be desired, and Falletta is especially attuned to the drolleries of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. An attractive Strauss disc, well recorded in the Buffalo Philharmonic's Kleinhans Hall home base.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite, Op. 60|
|Ariadne auf Naxos - Symphony-Suite|