Richard Strauss - Burleske, Ein Heldenleben (2018)

Strauss

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Marc Albrecht

While starting his career adhering to Brahms’ “absolute” or “formalist” compositional approach, Richard Strauss rapidly turned into a staunch supporter of Wagner’s Zukunftsmusik, writing a series of iconoclast symphonic poems full of metaphysical allusions. This album features both sides of Strauss’s musical persona with the Burleske in D minor as well as Ein Heldenleben. While the former is a playful, miniature quasi concerto for piano and orchestra, the latter epitomises Strauss’s symphonic style: majestic, virtuosically orchestrated, full of grand ideas, but never without irony. In that respect, Ein Heldenleben has more in common with Burleske than one would expect. Strauss’ arguably satirical self-identification with the hero of his symphonic poem is underlined by recurrent self-quotations from previous compositions. The central role of the solo violin makes it another solo concerto in disguise, albeit less overtly than Burleske.

These two remarkable pieces are performed by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and their chief conductor Marc Albrecht, with Denis Kozhukhin delivering the solo piano part in Burleske. All have an impressive track record at PENTATONE. Albrecht and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra have released acclaimed albums such as Mahler Song Cycles with Alice Coote (2017) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Elizabeth Watts (2015). Kozhukhin has recorded piano concertos by Ravel and Gershwin (2018) as well as Tchaikovsky and Grieg (2016), and has been extensively praised for his Brahms Ballads & Fantasies solo album (2017).

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Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

With 130 musicians the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is the largest orchestral organization in the Netherlands. Founded in 1985 as a merger of the Amsterdam Philharmonic, the Utrecht Symphony and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra continues the tradition of its predecessors in offering an attractive combination of accessible concert programs, in which works from the core repertoire are combined with contemporary music. The orchestra has a tradition in performing the music of Dutch composers and has commissioned and premiered works by Andriessen, Loevendie, Jeths, Franssens, van Onna, Hamburg, Kox, Koolmees and Ketting.

Marc Albrecht

Marc Albrecht, chief conductor of De Nederlandse Opera and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, is highly regarded for his interpretations of works by Wagner and Richard Strauss, as well as contemporary works. He has been a guest conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the orchestras of Rome (Santa Cecilia), Dresden and Lyons. He has led operas including Der fliegende Holländer (Bayreuther Festspiele, 2003-2006), Die Bacchantinnen (Salzburger Festspiele, 2005) and From the House of the Dead (Opéra national de Paris, 2005). From 2001 to 2004 he was principal guest conductor at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where his engagements included a highly acclaimed performance of Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise. He was artistic director and chief conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg from 2006 to 2011. He also enjoys a close association with the Semperoper Dresden, where he led the productions of Die Frau ohne Schatten and La damnation de Faust in 2007. Recent conducting engagements include The Bassarids (Bayerische Staatsoper München), Der fliegende Holländer (ROH Covent Garden), Der Prinz von Homburg (Theater an der Wien), Lulu with the Wiener Philharmoniker (Salzburg), Elektra, Orest and The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia (DNO) and his debut at La Scala with Die Frau ohne Schatten. 

Denis Kozhukhin

Denis Kozhukhin’s playing is characterised by an extraordinary technical mastery balanced by a sharp intelligence, calm maturity and wisdom. Kozhukhin has that rare and special gift of creating an immediate and compelling emotional connection with his audience. Born in Nizhni Novgorod, Russia, in 1986 into a family of musicians, Denis Kozhukhin began his piano studies at the age of four with his mother. As a boy, he attended the Balakirev School of Music where he studied under Natalia Fish. From 2000 to 2007, Kozhukhin was a pupil at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid learning with Dimitri Bashkirov and Claudio Martinez-Mehner. Upon graduating, he received his diploma personally from the Queen of Spain and was named best student in his year and twice best chamber group with his own Cervantes Trio. After his studies in Madrid, Kozhukhin was invited to study at the Piano Academy at Lake Como where he received tuition from amongst others Fou Ts’ong, Stanislav Yudenitch, Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, Charles Rosen and Andreas Staier. He completed his studies with Kirill Gerstein in Stuttgart. Kozhukhin has also been awarded 1st Prize at the Vendome Prize in Lisbon in 2009, and 3rd Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006. Since winning First Prize in the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels at the age of 23, Kozhukhin has quickly established a formidable reputation and has already appeared at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls. In 2015, Kozhukhin signed an exclusive recording agreement with Pentatone. His debut recording for the label (Grieg Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and Vassily Sinaisky) was Gramophone Editor’s Choice and Disc of the month in Fono Forum and Stereophone. His next recording of solo Brahms was released in February 2017. Both albums are available in DSD Stereo and DSD Surround Sound from NativeDSD Music. Kozhukhin is a committed chamber musician and has worked with amongst others, Leonidas Kavakos, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Janine Jansen, Vadim Repin, Julian Rachlin, the Jerusalem Quartet, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Radovan Vlatkovic, Jörg Widmann, Emmanuel Pahud and Alisa Weilerstein. photo: Felix Broede
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Richard Strauss - Burleske, Ein Heldenleben (2018)

Strauss

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

    The Arts Fuse

What makes a fine recording of Richard Strauss’s much-loved and -played tone poem, Ein Heldenleben? Well, look no further than the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra’s (NPO) recording of the piece with conductor Marc Albrecht to find out.

Richard Strauss - Burleske, Ein Heldenleben (2018)

Strauss

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Producer: Wolfram Nehls
Recording Engineer: Erdo Groot, Jean-Marie Geijsen
Recording location: NedPhO-Koepel, Amsterdam in February 2017 (Burleske) and December 2017 (Ein Heldenleben)
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD

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PTC5186617: Richard Strauss - Burleske, Ein Heldenleben
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Tracks.
1.
Burleske in D minor
Strauss
00:20:04   Select quality & channels above
2.
Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) - Der Held (The Hero)
Strauss
00:04:07   Select quality & channels above
3.
Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) - Des Helden Widersacher (The Hero's Adversaries)
Strauss
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4.
Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) - Des Helden Gefarhrtin (The Hero's Companion)
Strauss
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5.
Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) - Des Helden Walstatt (The Hero at Battle)
Strauss
00:06:49   Select quality & channels above
6.
Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) - Des Helden Friedenswerke (The Hero's Works of Peace)
Strauss
00:06:08   Select quality & channels above
7.
Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) - Des Helden Weltflucht und Vollendung (The Hero's Retirement from t
Strauss
00:11:49   Select quality & channels above

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