The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with Chief Conductor Sir Andrew Davis continue their acclaimed recordings of the orchestral music of Richard Strauss, with this latest volume featuring three world-class soloists – James Ehnes, Daniel Müller-Schott and Christopher Moore – performing two of Strauss’ finest early works: the Violin Concerto, and the tone poem Don Quixote.
Performed by dual Grammy Award-winning Canadian violinist James Ehnes, Strauss’s Violin Concerto is a mature and inventive work, considering Strauss wrote it when he was still a teenager. Seldom performed today, it is full of melody and of virtuosity, very much of its Romantic time but hinting at the recent Classical masters Beethoven and Mozart.
Don Quixote is inspired by Cervantes’s eponymous novel and Strauss demonstrates every bit of his flair for the dramatic, which would be fully realised in his great operas Der Rosenkavalier, Elektra, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Salome. With Daniel Müller-Schott’s cello representing the famous man of La Mancha, and Christopher Moore’s viola cast as his trusty sidekick Sancho Panza, Strauss takes us on an incredible journey into the mind of this deluded nobleman, and across the rustic landscape of the Don’s native Spain.
The MSO’s Strauss series was launched in 2014 with a major European tour including the BBC Proms and the Concertgebouw. It has so far included Four Last Songs with Erin Wall, Ein Heldenleben, Four Symphonic Interludes, Also sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks and An Alpine Symphony. The recordings have won significant acclaim from the international press, with BBC Music Magazine describing Also sprach Zarathustra as ‘a benchmark recording’.
The tracks: RICHARD STRAUSS: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 8/ Don Quixote – Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme, Op. 35
4 Introduction: Don Quixote Loses His Sanity after Reading Novels about Knights, and Decides to Become a Knight-Errant/5 Theme: Don Quixote, Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance/6 Theme: Sancho Panza/7 Variation I: Adventure at the Windmills/8 Variation II: The Victorious Struggle against the Army of the Great Emperor Alifanfaron/9 Variation III: Dialogue between Knight and Squire/10 Variation IV: Unhappy Adventure with a Procession of Pilgrims/11 Variation V: The Knight’s Vigil/12 Variation VI: Meeting with Dulcinea/13 Variation VII: The Ride through the Air/14 Variation VIII: The Unhappy Voyage in the Enchanted Boat/15 Variation IX: Battle with the Magicians/16 Variation X: Duel with the Knight of the Bright Moon/17 Finale: Coming to His Senses Again
The performers: James Ehnes violin/Daniel Müller-Schott cello/Christopher Moore viola/Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/
Sir Andrew Davis conductor
Recorded live in concert at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
1CD + Digital album | Available 15 March 2019 | ABC 481 7471