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).
Total time: 01:04:46
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NativeDSD selectively creates higher DSD bitrates of label's releases using two methods (Merging Technologies Album Publishing and Singnalyst HQPlayer Pro), depending on the original edited master source. In order to understand the processes, a bit of background is appropriate. NativeDSD sells only recordings that were originally recorded in DSD or DXD (352.8KHz PCM). The overwhelming majority of these recordings were edited and post processed in DXD, then converted (modulated) into DSD deliverable bit rates. NativeDSD acquires the label's original DXD edited master, and using Merging Technologies Album Publishing, creates a first generation DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256, as well as a DXD FLAC deliverable. Additionally, on selected recordings, a 32bit PCM WAV file is extracted (the DXD PCM FLAC is 24 bits by format definition), and uses it to modulate a DSD512 using HQPlayer Pro.The exception to the above are the few label recordings (Yarlung, Eudora, Just Listen etc.) that record in DSD, and do no PCM post processing mixing, level balancing, EQ etc. That's doable by restricting post processing to just editing, where only the edit transition interval (typically 100ms or less) is PCM converted, leaving the DSD music content unaltered when rendered. For those recordings, the DSD edited master (the actual recording master with edits) is used with HQPlayer Pro to re-modulate the missing DSD bitrates.Why do any of this? It's to provide a DSD bitrate deliverable choice, allowing a customer to purchase the highest DSD bitrate their DAC will support.It's correct that there's no additional music content information contained in the higher DSD bit rate from the original DSD bitrate. What's different is the uncorrelated modulation noise content placement in the frequency spectrum. When a DSD original file is converted to DXD (PCM), the inherent DSD modulation noise is removed through the decimation filtering, and re-inserted when modulated back to DSD. The modulation noise (again, uncorrelated) is the carrier part of the DSD bitstream modulation, and an inherent part of the DSD bit stream.
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Erdo Groot, Jean-Marie Geijsen
NedPhO-Koepel, Amsterdam in February 2017 (Burleske) and December 2017 (Ein Heldenleben)
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|Release Date||September 9, 2018|
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.
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