Thursday, 29 May 2008
AN ALPINE SYMPHONY
On other pages of this blog, I've admitted to my passion for the operas and music of Richard Wagner. In grave fear of being accused of having a 'thing' for German Romantic composers, here, today, in fact right now, I will also own up to a love of Richard Strauss' music. ( And no, not the waltzing Strausses) My favourite music of the moment is his tone poem , An Alpine Symphony, completed in 1915, which depicts a day excursion in the Bavarian Alps, a memory from Strauss' adolescence.
I first heard it in concert with my beloved Sydney Symphony Orchestra, maybe 15 years ago. The orchestral colour blew me away, that plus the monumental musical forces Strauss employs....an orchestra of 123 players including a huge brass section on and off the stage, a wind machine, a thunder machine and a pipe organ. I was completely swept off my feet by the music that night,almost in a swoon...I have a really vivid recollection of it.
Such is the nature of passion.
On Saturday, 31st May, you'll be able to watch a live video stream of the Sydney Symphony, conducted by Charles Dutoit, from the concert hall of the Sydney Opera House, perform this astonishing symphonic work.
Below is the Syd. Symph. with current conductor Maestro Gelmetti, and man who'll do the arm-waving from next year, Maestro Ashkenazy.