Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra; Ein Heldenleben

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LABELS: Philips Solo
WORKS: Also sprach Zarathustra; Ein Heldenleben
PERFORMER: Boston SO/Seiji Ozawa
CATALOGUE NO: 442 645-2 DDD (1982)
These early digital performances were in the demonstration class of their day. But good, occasionally even spectacular, though they are, they don’t quite reach the summit of Strauss experience. Closely recorded (despite an ample bass resonance) and spotlit without much air to let the music expand, they miss that European nobility and strength of the Kempe/ Karajan/Haitink tradition, or the transatlantic tension of the old Reiner/Ormandy/ Bernstein glory-days. Breathlessly emphasising cinematic extremes (from the very lyrical/quiet to the very bombastic/loud), the notes may well be all there, but only rarely, one feels, is the spirit. Ates Orga