Strauss, Franz Strauss

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Franz Strauss,Strauss
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: Horn Concerto No. 1; Horn Concerto No. 2; Burleske; Violin Concerto; Oboe Concerto; Duet Concertino
PERFORMER: Barry Tuckwell (horn), Friedrich Gulda (piano), Boris Belkin (violin), Gordon Hunt (oboe), Dmitri Ashkenazy (clarinet), Kim Walker (bassoon); LSO/István Kertész, Anthony Collins, Berlin RSO/Vladimir Ashkenazy
CATALOGUE NO: 460 296-2 ADD/DDD mono/stereo Reissue (1955-93)
The fiery pulse of Strauss’s rather conventional youth and a serene old age are the extremes represented on this set, which avoids only the lumbering curiosities featuring left-hand piano of the Twenties. Tuckwell’s fulsome first recordings of the Horn Concertos are especially welcome back, complete with Franz Strauss’s healthy example to his son. Neither this nor the 18-year-old’s Violin Concerto are especially memorable works, but the teamwork of Tuckwell and the vital István Kertész, Belkin and Ashkenazy, make us believe in them for the duration; and Gulda’s glittering sweep, albeit in plummy mono sound, minimises the only problem of the Burleske – its repetitiousness. The late concertos could do with more orchestral sweetness and light, but Gordon Hunt makes outstandingly detailed, vigorous work of the Oboe Concerto. David Nice

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