Neeme Järvi

Strauss: Symphonic Poems, Vol. 2

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Released in 1996, this Chandos album of Richard Strauss' symphonic poems is a compilation of superb recordings Neeme Järvi made with the Scottish National Orchestra between 1986 and 1988. Second in the series of the complete tone poems, this double disc presents four beloved works -- Sinfonia Domestica, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Don Quixote, and Also sprach Zarathustra -- as well as one obscure, less-loved piece, Macbeth. The four popular works were composed at the height of Strauss' creativity, and each is endowed with sophisticated orchestration, astounding melodic invention, and equal measures of subtlety and bravado. If Macbeth is the least enjoyable of the set, for its dark tone and fairly stiff, abstruse retelling of Shakespeare's tragedy, there is more than enough brilliance and color in the other works to compensate for it. But give this underdog a hearing, because inferior Strauss is still fascinating stuff, and Macbeth may still entertain with its bombastic vulgarity and odd flights of Romantic fancy. Järvi and the SNO are consistently terrific throughout this album, and they hold nothing back in their intense performances. Audiophiles will revel in the excellent sound, which is often glorious in its resonance and power, and newcomers will recognize great value for the midline price.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Don Quixote, fantastic variations for cello & orchestra, Op. 35 (TrV 184)
1
8:55
2
2:36
3
1:38
4
8:32
5
1:53
6
4:34
7
1:12
8
1:11
9
1:50
10
1:05
11
4:22
12
6:07
Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 30 (TrV 176)
13
2:16
14
3:32
15
1:45
16
2:06
17
2:02
18
4:14
19
4:52
20
7:43
21
3:56
blue highlight denotes track pick