Classical Album of the Week
Anne Netrebko: Richard Strauss
As one of the biggest classical releases of 2014, this week’s Classical Album finds Anne Netrebko and Daniel Barenboim paying tribute to this year’s 150-year-old birthday boy, legendary German composer Richard Strauss.
Richard Strauss’ ‘Four Last Songs’ set up something of a challenge for the Anna Netrebko: “Show me how you confront death, recollection and consolation and I’ll tell you what kind of singer you are.”
The Russian soprano has now asked herself this musical and existential question. As the title indicates, Strauss composed the four songs in Switzerland in 1948 as a inward farewell to the world, and indeed they would be his last.
On the album Netrebko is joined by one of today’s most significant conductors and musicians, Daniel Barenboim, along with the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra.
You also hear Strauss’s “Ein Heldenleben,” which, by the way, also was to be his last tone-poem, though composed many years earlier. It’s a piece of music that Strauss himself often quoted in music, and which many regarded as a kind of autobiographic description.
The recording took place in Berlin at a benefit concert in August 2014 on behalf of the Berlin Staatsoper renovation and the concert was described as “a musical revelation.” As we reach the end of Strauss’s 150th birth year, these performances of the Four Last Songs and Heldenleben by the matchless constellation of Anna Netrebko, Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle pay further tribute to this seeker of souls, explorer of human diversity and portrayer of humanism – Richard Strauss.
Please enjoy some of the finest pieces of music that may have ever been written – and in the ultimate sound quality.
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