WORKS: Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten Symphonic Fantasy; Love Scene from Feuersnot, ; Weber: Overtures
PERFORMER: Dresden Staatskapelle/Giuseppe Sinopoli
CATALOGUE NO: 449 216-2
Gripping the senses and imagination, this release is another reminder of just how brilliantly Sinopoli knows and understands the German Romantics. The Strauss in particular, with its long, luxuriant phrases, massively underpinned climaxes and sheer beauty of orchestral sound, is extraordinarily rich in old-world electricity and emotions. Yet – as the closing scene from Feuersnot (1901) and the symphonic fantasy on Die Frau (compiled 1946) show – while Sinopoli may willingly give such music its languorous head and indulge in its hedonism, his real strength lies in his grasp of its inner design and formal overview. Structural/ dramatic focus clearly matters to him as a key to communicating a repertory that in lesser hands can all too often inflate or fragment.
Compulsively, his Weber is about weighty gestures, delicate contrasts, the keenest articulation and mounting symphonic energy – with a blazing C major peroration to Der Freischütz. Steeped in its Teutonic heritage and performance traditions, the Staatskapelle knows Sinopoli well. You won’t find more distinguished or virtuoso playing anywhere. A mesmeric glow of nostalgic resonance (in the Lukaskirche) evocatively gilds the physical immediacy of the recorded sound. Ates Orga