Rudolf Kempe

Richard Strauss: Tone Poems

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The popular tone poems of Richard Strauss received glowing readings from Rudolf Kempe and the Staatskapelle Dresden in 1973 and 1974, and this 2011 reissue brings them to new listeners in a convenient EMI Masters twofer. A distinguished conductor who was widely respected for his artistry, though never known as a celebrity, Kempe recorded many fine albums for EMI, and his Strauss recordings received much critical praise for their interpretive subtlety and technical polish. Also sprach Zarathustra (famous for the opening fanfare used in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey), Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Tod und Verklärung, Don Juan, and Ein Heldenleben are brilliant showpieces Kempe shaped with intelligence and taste, and they are brought together here with the "Dance of the Seven Veils" from the opera Salome, and the "Waltz Sequence" from Der Rosenkavalier. Despite their age, these recordings still have a potent energy and resplendent musicality that transcend the slight disadvantage of the analog sound, and even though there are numerous all-digital offerings that can offer better audio, these recordings still sound great, with no apparent sacrifice of quality in the transfer from the original masters to CD.

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