Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie; Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

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LABELS: DG Originals
WORKS: Eine Alpensinfonie; Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche
PERFORMER: Dresden Staatskapelle/Karl Böhm
CATALOGUE NO: 447 454-2 ADD mono (1958)
The broad brushstrokes of Strauss’s Alpine Symphony need the help of spacious stereo; but once you have the right sound in mind, two vintage recordings are worth seeking out, both with the work’s Dresden dedicatees. Böhm’s 1958 version, despite poor orchestral intonation, shares with the composer’s own performance a refusal to rush or cramp and a haunting realisation of the night-music which shrouds the piece. Unfortunately, the sound is less consistent, with some frightful fiddling about with the balances as ‘mists rise up’ and the scoring thickens; at least it cuts down on the first trumpet’s quavery treble. Till’s antics are told from the woodwind’s perspective, thanks to nonsensical engineering. Semi-legendary performances, perhaps; far from legendary recordings. David Nice