Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Franz Welser-Möst
Today Richard Strauss is still one of the most-performed composers from the epoch just before the modern age. In operas such as “Elektra” and “Salome” as well as in his tone poems, the composer made masterly use of established traditions, placing them brilliantly into new contexts and also pointing the way ahead especially where musical theatre was concerned. The Munich-born Strauss was a fine conductor, a brilliant man of letters, an advocate of artists’ rights, especially of those who had fallen foul of the authorities during dark times, and a musical politician, and his colourful personality continues to fascinate a large following today. For the Strauss year of 2014, in a new audio biography from the BR-KLASSIK series, Anette Unger traces the life of this extraordinary and multifaceted artistic personality. This exciting audio biography is further enhanced by selected letters written to family members and such famous contemporaries as Hans von Bülow, Cosima Wagner, Stefan Zweig and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, giving us a vivid impression of an artist who, in addition to his success as a composer, was always an astute observer of his times. On a third CD, the audio biography also features recordings made with Franz Welser-Möst, who has been a welcome guest conductor with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks for 25 years now. A special focus is placed on the tone poem and the opera, two of the most important genres in Strauss’s oeuvre, with recordings of “An Alpine Symphony”, composed in 1915, and the four symphonic interludes from the opera “Intermezzo” (1924).