On demand: Richard Strauss Tod und Verklärung (January 2015)

KonserthusetPlayRecorded at Stockholm Concert Hall (Konserthuset): Stora Salen, Stockholm, Sweden

The story of the death of an artist. Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo leads the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in Richard Strauss’ majestic symphonic poem, Tod und Verklärung.

Richard Strauss is the obvious prominent figure of the symphonic poem. When musical romanticism was at its zenith in the late 1890s, Strauss dressed those enormous emotions in magnificent orchestral splendour like no one else. In the symphonic poem Ein Heldenleben – A Hero’s Life – the action centres on himself, but Tod und Verklärung is a more general depiction of heroic destiny.

On behalf of Strauss, the story was written down in poetic form by the composer’s friend Alexander Ritter and was later inserted into the score as an introduction. Ritter’s poem portrays a sick and lonely man who struggles with death and recalls experiences from the life he has lived. The slow introduction describes a sickbed; the second movement depicts a feverish struggle with death. The third movement is an inspection of a life, before the enhanced clarity of the final movement brings ultimate redemption.

 

Recording from January 2015

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